MANHATTAN — Raydon H. Robel, 72, of Manhattan, died Sunday, December 28, 2014 at Mercy Regional Heath Center in Manhattan.
Raydon was born February 7, 1942, in Great Bend to Howard and Elsa Robel.
He was a 1960 graduate of Great Bend High School, active in varsity baseball and football, as well lifeguarding. He was an avid outdoorsman, spending many hours hunting with his friends.
Raydon was very involved with the Boy Scout organization and was a two-time participant of the scouting canoe trip to the North Woods. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and presented the Explorer Report to the Nation to then-Governor Alf Landon.
Raydon chose to attend Kansas State University to play baseball and was a three-year letterman. He was resident assistant in Goodnow Hall for three years. He was an active member of Phi Epsilon Kappa Physical Education Honorary, and he was instrumental in the construction and installation of the Victory Bell that was installed in front of the south doors of Ahearn Fieldhouse in 1964. He went on to graduate from K-State in 1965 with a B.S. in Physical Education.
On June 6, 1964, Raydon married Barb Swinney in Valley Center. After graduation from K-State, they both taught high school in Randall and Burr Oak until 1969. Raydon and Barb came back to Manhattan to raise a family, and Raydon returned to K-State where he earned his M.S. in Physical Education Administration in 1970. At that time he became the Assistant Intramural Director. In 1973, Raydon was named Director with the department title change to Recreational Services. During his tenure as Director, the program grew from intramural activities housed in Ahearn Gym and Fieldhouse to a full service campus recreation program. A student referendum in 1975 was successful and led to the opening of the Recreational Complex in 1980.
Another referendum passed in 1991 and the expanded Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex opened its doors in 1995. Under Raydon’s leadership, program offerings, participation, and staff grew in numbers to accommodate the needs of the campus community.
Raydon was active in the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association during his entire career as a campus recreations professional. He served as the NIRSA State of Kansas Director for 17 consecutive years. He was Region IV Vice President from 1988-1990. Raydon was recognized by his professional peers for contributions to the collegiate recreation profession by receiving a NIRSA Regional Award of Merit. He was an influential force in enhancing the quality of life for thousands of individuals at Kansas State University. He was recognized for his contributions in recreation in the State of Kansas, by proclamation of then-Governor Sebelius upon his retirement in 2007, after 37 years of dedicated service.
Raydon was also very involved in the community. He served on the Riley County School Board for eight years, was a Community Leader for the Wildcat 4-H Club, and presided as president of the Sedalia Community Church Board for 13 years. He loved playing and joking around with his kids and grandkids as well as going to all of their activities.
He is survived by his wife, Barb; his daughter Kristi Roesch and her children Reagan and Laura of Hiawatha; daughter Kerry Thurlow, her husband Matt, and their children Wyatt and Kylee of Leonardville; and son Kevin Robel of Manhattan.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, January 5, at the Sedalia Community Church with Reverend Kevin Larson officiating.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Sunday at the Sedalia Community Church Annex.
Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Raydon Robel Fund at Sedalia Community Church. Contributions may be left in care of the funeral home.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home**
1616 Poyntz Ave.
Manhattan, KS 66502
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Jan. 1, 2015