Ray Dean Leiker

April 1, 1947December 29, 2020

A Life Well-Lived

Ray D. Leiker, born April 1, 1947 in Salina, Kansas to Seraphin (Jerry) and Helen Leiker, unexpectedly passed away Tuesday, December 29, 2020 from a pulmonary embolism. He was predeceased by his parents and his niece, Amy Morse. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 51 years, Virginia, daughter Amanda Leiker, granddaughters, Sara Lybarger (20) and Madison Lybarger (16), his sister, Janet Morse and husband Carl, and nephews Chris Morse and Mike Morse.

Ray grew up in Salina, KS where he met his future wife, Virginia (Gin) when he was 10 years old. Ray was the paperboy for the neighborhood where they both lived. After dating in high school and college, Ray and Gin married in 1969, and after graduating from Kansas State University where he was a member of the Tau Sigma Delta Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, moved to Houston in 1972 to pursue his dream of working in architecture. Ray’s entire career was spent in architecture, first with Caudill, Rowlett, and Scott, then as a principal with Bailey Architects and finally as a principal with Shepley Bulfinch. Of all the big projects Ray worked on, he was proudest of his work on the Awty School where he also served on the Board of Trustees for 13 years.

Ray was a member of the American Institute of Architects, President of the Houston Chapter in 2001, the Texas Society of Architects where he was Secretary, 2003 and Vice President, 2005, Houston Architecture Foundation, Secretary/Treasurer, 2004 and President, 2006, and the International Conference of Building Officials. Ray was NCARB Certified, a Registered Architect in TX and MD, and received the Promotion of International Award by the European Council of International Schools in 2004.

Ray’s generous heart was evident in his 30 years working with Rebuilding Together. At least twice a year you could find Ray gathering students from UH School of Architecture or from the Awty School along colleagues to support the less fortunate by painting or restoring parts of homes. The assignment was to paint the houses but Ray always went beyond what was required and would rebuild anything that was falling down, whether it was the porch or a wall.

In addition to a successful career in architecture, Ray had two other passions-sailing his beloved sailboat, Quark, and building beautiful furniture. His sailing buddies remember racing through blinding wind and rain to win a race or just missing a lightning strike coming home from Corpus. Upon his retirement in 2016 Ray built a workshop at the back of his property and spent most of his remaining time there, “making sawdust.” When not in the workshop you could find Ray traveling with Gin and the granddaughters nearly every summer, including the summer of 2019 for three weeks in Austria and Italy.

Ray was a mentor to many young architects where his wisdom, experience and encouragement to do the best work possible inspired many. He is remembered as “old school” because of his high standards for work. Many of his former colleagues have expressed that if they have a problem to solve at work they ask “what would Leiker do?” If concerned about the quality of the end product the standard is whether it would pass his inspection. Ray also was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. We always knew that when something broke around the house he could fix it. If he couldn’t fix it, likely whatever it was, could not be fixed. His gentle kindness and wisdom will be missed.

A visitation will be held 77024 on Monday, January 4, between 4 and 7 p.m. at Earthman Funeral Directors, 8303 Katy Freeway, Houston, Texas 77024. A private burial we be held on Tuesday, January 5 at Forest Park Cemetery.

The family wishes to thank Memorial City Hermann Hospital ICU staff for their kindness to Ray and the family. If you wish to remember Ray donations may be made in his name to St. Jude’s Hospital or any charity of your choice.


  • Visitation with the family

    Monday, January 4, 2021


Ray Dean Leiker

have a memory or condolence to add?

Amanda Leiker

January 19, 2021

I would like to say Thank you!!! Reading all these wonderful, beautiful and heartfelt comments about my daddy has been so beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to tell your stories about how my daddy impacted your life, and or your just general thoughts of him. . It has ment so much to read all your words. My daddy was exactly like everyone has described. Honest,humble,gentle,teacher, patient,and devoted family man. He will forever be missed by all. He will be known to all as Leiker, friend, husband,daddy and grandpa. The heavens have certainly gained an angel. He is probably in heaven designing them a more elaborate Kingdom as I write this. Thank you once again for telling me your memories of my wonderful daddy.

Joshua Medina

January 5, 2021

I moved to Houston after I interviewed with Ray because I could immediately tell he was an honest, caring, approachable teacher. He taught me a great deal about architecture and the business of architecture. I value deeply the time and patience he invested in making me a better architect and leader. His laugh, detailed sketches, and overall kindness and generosity will always be remembered. Thanks for everything, Ray. Rest in Power.

Karen Braitmayer

January 5, 2021

I had the pleasure of working with Ray for a few years as an Intern at Bailey Architects and remember him as supportive and calm, with high expectations and a fondness for a laugh. I am greatly saddened to hear of his passing and send my condolences to his family.

Adrienne Steadman

January 4, 2021

To Gin, Amanda, and the girls, my sincerest condolences.
I , too, was so fortunate to be in the groups that had the privilege and pleasure of knowing and working with "Leiker" . I can honestly say not a day goes by that I don't reference or share his insights with the new upcoming generation as it pertains to architecture. He was a great mentor, so patient, and believe me his strings of wisdom and humor are continuing on to the next generation.
I'm so glad to have know this man and to have seen and heard his enjoyment in retirement and expounding so proudly on his love of his family. He will be sorely missed.

Tom Beuscher

January 4, 2021

If I say too much about Ray, it will contradict my memory of him as a man of few but wonderfully meaningful and all too often humorous words. I learned to listen carefully when he spoke and then to watch his smile as I gathered in all of what he packed into simple, logical messages. Ray is a fundamental part of the Awty Spirit, and I will always remember that ever present smile.

Erika Schwarz

January 4, 2021

I had the privilege to work with Ray and learn from him in my years as an Intern at Bailey Architects. Even though we didn’t keep in touch after I returned to Guatemala, the lessons learn stayed with me throughout my career. I will always remember him as a great architect and an outstanding human being.
My deepest condolences to the family,
Erika Schwarz

Gladys Wood

January 4, 2021

Virginia ,
You have our deepest sympathy.
Ed and Gladys

Willie Kirkpatrick

January 4, 2021

Dear Gin and Amanda
I was very sadden to hear of Ray's passing. He was truly one of my most admired mentors, and a man that I held in the highest regard for his integrity, commitment to excellence in architecture and his willingness to give back to the community. I can honestly say that having known and worked with Ray for so many years that he helped me to become a better architect and person. I know that he will be missed, however, his spirit lives on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Willie & Patricia Kirkpatrick, you have our deepest condolences.

Joyce Davis

January 3, 2021

Dear Ginny,
It has been so long since I have seen you but my memories of our time working together have not faded. My heart is broken for you. There are no words of comfort except to say I care and will sit in the ashes with you while you grieve. Be well my friend and know that you are remembered.

Eileen Reed

January 1, 2021

To Ray's family and friends, what a great loss!
I haven't seen Ray in years... met him when he was with Bailey and he was the mentor, coach, calm and kind, expert partner. Always available to give direction and mentoring to the juniors and committed to excellence in all he and his firm created. Blessings to you, Ray, and to your family , friends and colleagues. You will be greatly missed. I am so fortunate to have known you. Eileen Crowley Reed