Husband, father, grandfather. Detective, mentor, teacher, storyteller. Gorilla, Taco, bad comedian. These are just a few of the words that describe Raymond Gilbert Vasquez, Jr., who passed away peacefully at his home on January 31, 2017, surrounded by his family.
Born on June 28, 1947, to Ramón and Angela (Cardona) Vazquez, he lived his early years in The Bronx and Brooklyn, New York. Being a city boy helped him win the heart of his love, Kathryn Margueritte Lowe, whom he wed April 27, 1968. He served his country during the Vietnam Era in the US Air Force as a firefighter. He served many years as a Detective in the Blue Springs Police Department, helping to develop multiple programs at the BSPD: the Blue Springs YOU (Youth Outreach Unit), the bike safety program, and the first career path program for officers. He received numerous commendations during his career, and was named Officer of the Year in 2005. He served the entire Kansas City community with honor and distinction. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 1999, fulfilling a lifelong goal to be the first in his family to graduate from college.
His life was defined by his love of family, his faith in Jesus Christ, and his desire to serve and protect his fellow man. He delighted in being a father, adopted father, uncle, and grandfather. He was a true disciple of Christ, serving those around him and showing true charity and compassion to those in need. His profession was more than a job, it was a life calling. He protected the innocent, gained justice for the afflicted, and served his fellow officers with love and grace.
In addition to his wife, Kathryn, he is survived by his son, Jeffrey Vasquez and wife Janell (Larson) of Grain Valley, MO; grandchildren, Christopher, Zachary, and Corban. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert Vazquez, daughter Jennifer, and son Christopher.
The family will receive friends from 4:00-7:00 pm, Monday, February 6, 2017 at Meyers Funeral Chapel, 1600 W. Main Street, Blue Springs, MO, 816-229-3276. Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 19th and Clark Street, Blue Springs, MO. Burial with full military honors will follow at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Higginsville, MO. In lieu of tears at his funeral, he would prefer smiles and laughter. In lieu of flowers, his family suggests memorial contributions in his memory to the Blue Springs YOU (Youth Outreach Unit), Children’s Mercy Hospital, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Memories of Ray and condolences for the family may be shared at www.meyersfuneralchapel.com, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.