1998, a suspicious shadow appeared on an x-ray of Ray's right lung.
After a myriad of tests during November and December, he underwent
open lung biopsy on January 7, 1999. After the biopsy showed malignant
cancer, the lower lobes of the right lung were removed.
Post-operatively, Ray progressively developed myriad complications
including pneumonia and a collapsed right lung. On January 12th, Ray
developed ARDS. He was deeply sedated, placed into a drug-induced
paralyzed state and on a ventilator. While he was brought off the deep
sedation on January 16th, he never regained conciousness. He
progressively suffered from severe infections and by the 17th had
begun to suffer major organ failure, increasing tissue breakdown,
internal bleeding, two strokes, and irregular heartbeat that required
several electroshock treatments in an attempt to restore a regular
heartbeat. On January 25th, he suffered a seizure with several more
occurring over the next day. Renal failure set in on January 27th and
soon thereafter necrosis overtook both his feet. Ray underwent a
dialysis session on January 29th, only to once again suffer a seizure.
He had a second dialysis session during the day on January 30th, but
by the evening he was rapidly failing. His wife, Jackie, daughter,
Diana, and stepdaughter, Shelle, were with him during the last hour of
his life. Jackie held his hand and described to him in great detail a
beautiful bicycle ride down the coast of Washington, Oregon and
California. She talked to him about the many great trips they had
taken together, while he slipped away from life. At 11:20pm on January
30th, Ray passed away.
born August 12, 1933, in Long Beach, California. We were
married on August 12, 1993, in Sedona, Arizona. His birthday was
chosen so he could remember future anniversaries!
been retired from the North Las Vegas Fire Department for nearly 15
years and had always wanted to do some "serious" traveling.
So we bought a 5th wheel and a truck to pull it, and took some
wonderful summer trips.
lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1957 and 1958 when it was still a
territory and he loved it there. He had built a house and bought a
truck to haul trailers from Indiana to Anchorage and Fairbanks on the
old Alcan Highway. He wanted to show me Alaska so our first trip was
in that direction. By the time we got to "Milepost Zero" at
Dawson Creek we decided it was too late in the season to continue to
Alaska so we changed destination to Yellowknife, the capital of the
Northwest Territories. We dined on caribou steaks and caribou stew and
caribou burgers. We tried muskox and munched on bannocks and Eskimo
donuts. We devoured fresh whitefish and chips and saskatoon pie. Ray
kept a wonderful detailed journal with an entry for nearly every day
of that trip and I had fun writing poems along the way
summer we spent on the eastcoast, in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The next two trips were the Alaska adventures. Ray kept a daily
journal with the last entry reading, 'Friday, October 17, Day 146.
We left Death Valley early for Las Vegas and the end of a wonderful
one for keeping journals! His first 'Exercise Journal' was started
when he was in his 30's. He logged in nearly 100,000 miles of running
and bicycling. He ran and rode in marathons. He pedaled his bike
across Death Valley for 228 miles in 28 hours and 50 minutes for
Muscular Dystrophy. He had challenged experienced riders to take that
trip with the hopes of raising $100 a mile for the Jerry Lewis
Telethon. He rode his bike from Las Vegas to Yuma, Arizona, and back.
Again, from Klamath Falls, Oregon, to Las Vegas. He pedaled down the
Washington/Oregon/California coast more than once. He did a lot of
'hundred milers.' He also took trips that were as long as 650 miles.
He wrote a
page about his exercise program for a family book that was eventually
published. It is quoted here in the hopes that his challenge might
continue and reach someone who reads this memorial."
following statistics are offered and submitted by Ray Binder
as a challenge to succeeding generations to duplicate or
am beginning a third decade in a rigorous exercise program
begun at age thirty-six.
first twenty-one years include 30,000 miles running and 50,000
miles bicycling. Seven marathons commencing at age forty-four;
the first a three hour thirty minute pace and the last at a
pace of three hours and two minutes. (6.57 per mile.)
'streak' of six and a half consecutive years averaging
ten miles per day.
miles in a day - 30
miles in a week - 120
miles in a month - 450
miles in a year - 4450
single mile: 5.29
data includes a 34 mile per day average and a total of 12,436
miles the same year. Longest single daily ride is 201 miles
from Las Vegas to 29 Palms, California, in fourteen hours and
thirty minutes. A race from Scotty's Castle in Death Valley to
Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas for 225 miles in 17 hours and 50
elapsed time record from Boulder City, Nevada, to Las Vegas in
46:42.7 minutes on a tandem bicycle.
information offered must not be construed as bravado, but as a
challenge and as evidence of a satisfying life style that
isn't difficult to achieve with determination.
body and mind will thank you.'
was an adventurous man and had a wonderful subtle sense of humor. Some
of his life-long friends shared a few funny stories at his memorial
was about the time he rented a little Piper Cub airplane although he
had no pilot's license. He wasn't very high above the ground when a
buzzard flew through the windshield, breaking the glass and causing
Ray to crash in a corn field. He walked away unhurt.
one from when we were 'courting.' Ray loved to play cards. He decided
one day to teach me tournament gin. Well, I was a bit 'rusty' at cards
then but I was winning every hand! That went on for quite a while-he
kept our scores in a log book and my scores were almost always higher
than his. He acted terribly embarrassed and asked me to promise that I
wouldn't tell any of the guys at work that I was winning all of these
card games because it would ruin his reputation. So, I didn't say a
word. Later on though, after we had been married for a while, I found
out he had let me win all those games. Of all the hundreds of card
games we played after that I never won again!
years he worked at the fire department he also was a Clark County
Deputy Coroner. He continued with that work after he left the fire
service. He loved his work there and was one of their best
investigators. He had a great compassion for the families when he had
to notify them of the death of a relative or friend. And he found
handling crime or death scenes challenging.
during the years of working both jobs that the terrible MGM Hotel fire
took place. That was in 1980. Ray assisted in getting 75 people off
the roof of the MGM Hotel. He worked the fire from 7am till 3pm that
Friday. Then he began his duties as coroner-investigator that
afternoon, removing the bodies from the hotel. By Monday morning he
left with the last body from the roof of the MGM Hotel via Metro P.D.
helicopter. By mid-week he had completed identification and
notifications to the next of kin of the victims.
Ray was a
man of integrity. He received the respect of his coworkers and
friends. He was kind and compassionate and he tried to help people. He
had a great sense of duty. He was dependable and protective of those
he loved. And he had a wonderful sense of humor. In addition he was a
very sentimental person. He touched many lives and many will miss him.
journals he left behind are a wonderful legacy that his family will
treasure. The writings reveal to future generations the inner being of
a very gentle man."
Las Vegas, Nevada