Raymond Gustaf Erickson

June 1, 1928December 6, 2014

Raymond Gustaf Erickson Born June 1, 1928 in Salina, Kansas. He began fighting liver cancer in August of this year. He lost the battle and made his transition December 6, 2014, at his home in Raytown, Missouri. He was 86 years of age. He leaves his wife of 63 years, Joan, and five children: Cathy Boney and children Matthew, Melanie, Seth, and Alex; Connie (Steve) Lee and children Kristopher, Kelsey, and Tanner; Cheryl Selleck (Mike Beatty) and children Crystal and Tiffany; Cara (Danon) Park and son Nicholai; Scott (Michelle) and daughter Savannah; and 3 great grandchildren Lincoln, Kadence, and Kendal. He also leaves his brother-in-law William Garrison and his sons Eric and Gerald and families. Ray is preceded in death by his parents Gustaf and Pearl, sister Hattie Garrison, nephew Carl Garrison, sons-in-law Mark Boney and David Selleck, and granddaughter Onnalee Park. Ray moved with his family to Kansas City in 1940. As a young man he built model cars and airplanes. He was a founding member, and President in 1955-56 of the KCTA, a drag racing organization, which founded the first official drag strip in Kansas City in the 1950s. He also belonged to Cranktwisters, and most recently Misfits Midwest. He retired after almost 45 years from Hallmark Cards, working his way from stock boy to Master engraver to specialist in metal graphics research. A self-taught craftsman, he worked on dozens of cars as a hobby, and built other unique automobiles, such as a three-wheeled motorcycle, a Crosley engine lawnmower called the “Blade” that could get up to 53 miles per hour, and a pedal car for his daughter out of a Cessna gas tank. His car buddies gave him the name of “Radical Ray” when it came to customizing cars. In 1987 he bought a 1950 Packard and spent four years chopping and customizing it. He enjoyed traveling with it and showing it at car shows. Services will be held at Unity Village in the Silent Unity Chapel in Lee’s Summit on Saturday, December 13. Visitation at 1:30pm and Memorial Service at 2:30. Donations preferred in lieu of flowers to Unity Village Chapel (, or Hand in Hand Christian Adoption, Inc. ( For a showcase of some of Ray's work, visit: and


  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, December 13, 2014


Raymond Gustaf Erickson

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May 3, 2015

So sorry to hear. Ray and I were early members of the KCTA and continued our friendship these many years later. My sincere condolences. Dick Scritchfield, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

December 12, 2014

So deeply sorry. I hold closely the conversations we had these last months. Jerry always talked how talented Ray was in what he did. It was sad that Jerry slipped so into dementia that he was unable connect and converse when they were together last Sincerely, Earlene Jameson

December 12, 2014

Our sincere condolences to the Erickson family. Ray was a good fiend and we will miss him.
Bob and MaryAnn Tucker, Merriam, KS

Vicki Seward

December 11, 2014

My thoughts and prayers are with you Joan and your family. I will remember Ray always as a wonderful man and one of my parents best friends. My memories of both the families together will last a lifetime. God bless.

December 11, 2014

One thing about Radical Ray is that he never had anything bad, negative or derogatory to say about someone else's vehicle whether it be a hot rod, custom or straight off the showroom floor. If it was off the showroom floor, he had a pretty good idea of what it would take to make it a 'real' car. And he was known for having done such!
Of the variety of cars that The Misfits drive, he liked them all and had stories to tell about each one. I especially liked hearing him talk about a particular '48 Plymouth that I think he had a genuine fondness for.
One more thing, I don't think Ray ever met anyone he couldn't talk to and I never heard him say anything bad about another person, and even if he did it wasn't very loud.
I will miss you Radical Ray.
"The Wanderer"

Craig Walters

December 11, 2014

Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.

Terri Pigue

December 11, 2014

Now Ray and Dad can talk cars again! (Poor Mom!) Ray will be missed very much. He was a great man and always showed my siblings and me his love for us. God bless and give you rest, Ray, my surrogate dad; and God bless and give you peace, Joan, my surrogate mom. You both meant so much to me as I was growing up.

Mick and Laura McClain

December 11, 2014

Our heart goes out to each and every one of you, may peace and comfort find you during this difficult time!

The Burri's

December 11, 2014

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamonds gilt on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.

From our hearts to yours our deepest sympathy.

December 10, 2014

Our deepest sympathy Joan, Cara, and family. Ray's smiles were so contagious and his laughter so full. I am forever indebted to all of you for your care and nurturing of my girls through the years. May God wrap you in His love and bring comfort through His grace.

Cheryl Glidewell