Raymond (Ray) Rankis
Raymond (Indulis) Rankis, 65 years young, died of cancer in his home with his loving family in Scarsdale, NY on June 30, 2018.
Ray (Indulis) was born at Women’s Hospital in Manhattan, NY to his Latvian parents Augusts and Marta Rankis. He was the youngest of three children, following sister Aija and brother Art (Austris). A lifelong believer with deep faith, Ray was baptized at St. Thomas Church in the Bronx, NY on March 31, 1965.
Ray grew up and received his formal education in the Bronx, NY. He graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and went on to earn a Baccalaureate degree in Mass Communications (1975) and a Master of Science degree in Physical Education (1980) from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY) in the Bronx. As an undergraduate, Ray excelled as a basketball player, winning three CUNY championship titles in four years. He also played for and later coached the Latvian basketball team Rakte.
Ray served as the head coach of the John Jay men’s junior varsity basketball team from 1976 to 1983. He became the head coach of the Baruch College men’s varsity basketball team in 1983 and continued as head coach until 2012, a 29-year span that is the second longest in CUNY history after fellow legend Nat Holman. Ray’s lifetime win-loss ratio of 419-361 is a school record and includes a CUNY championship in 2000, three appearances in the NCAA Division III post season tournament, and two ECAC Metro Regional postseason championships. In 2012 Ray became the Athletic Director at Baruch and served in that position until his retirement in 2015.
Ray is a member of the Lehman College Sports Hall of Fame, the Baruch College Sports Hall of Fame, and the Latvian American Sports Hall of Fame.
In 1993, Ray married his soulmate Ann Maria Hayles. Their children Matthieu (age 24) and daughter Simone (age 22) complete the family. Ray was a patient, loving, and attentive husband and parent. The family resides in Scarsdale and are longtime faithful members of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in New Rochelle.
From humble beginnings, Ray became a world traveler, a patron of the visual and performance arts, a lover of Classical, Jazz, and Rhythm and Blues music, and a voracious reader blessed with insatiable curiosity and encyclopedic recall.
One of Ray’s greatest contributions to society came as an educator and coach. He profoundly affected thousands of students and athletes, instilling the highest values that academia and sports have to offer, including awareness, competence, accountability, determination, resiliency, and the development of a strong moral character and enduring interpersonal relationships. In retirement Ray continued to reach out to people, audit college classes, and volunteer in the community.
Ray’s personal and professional style distinguished him from his peers and endeared him to his students and athletes. He was cerebral, creative, unconventional, worldly, street savvy, and unflappable, and he cultivated his caring nature and exceptional interpersonal skills to transcend cultural, gender, economic, and generational barriers to connect meaningfully with individuals.
Ray is beloved by family, friends, and former students who number in the thousands, and his positive inspirational influence on the fortunate individuals who have been part of his life continues on beyond his passing.
He is survived by his loving and beloved wife Ann Maria, son Matthieu and daughter Simone; brother Art (Austris) and sister-in-law Sandra (Solveiga); sister Aija Sears and brother-in-law Tony; mother-in-law Joy Gordon, and many nieces and nephews.
The Rankis family respectfully asks that donations be made to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in New Rochelle in lieu of flowers.