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Ray Rokey

 

Date and Place of Birth: March 24, 1917 Sabetha, KS
Date and Place of Death:    November 7, 1944 Belgium
Baseball Experience: College
Position: Outfield
Rank: Captain
Military Unit: 28th Infantry Division
Area Served: European Theater of Operations

Raymond R. Rokey spent his life maximizing opportunities and giving - giving his best effort in all of his endeavors, giving his cheerful demeanor to those around him, giving his time to be part of community service activities, and giving his life so that others could enjoy theirs.
Raymond Rokey Memorial Scholarship

Raymond R. Rokey was born on March 24, 1917 in Sabetha, Kansas, the son of Oney and Minnie Rokey. He was the first in his family to attend high school and the first to attend college when he enrolled at Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science in Manhattan (now known as Kansas State University) in 1939. An outstanding all-around athlete, he played football in 1940 and 1941 (quarterbacking the team in 1941), was on the wrestling team in 1942, and played baseball in 1940, 1941 and 1942. In 1942, Rokey played centerfield, batted third in the lineup and led the team with a .283 average (15 for 53).

In addition to being an outstanding athlete, Rokey was also an exceptional student. He was selected as an outstanding student in February 1942, served as vice president of the Student Council and held the rank of lieutenant colonel with the compulsory ROTC battalion.

Upon graduation in 1942, Rokey received a regular army commission and served with the 28th Infantry Division. Initially stationed at Camp Livingston, Louisiana, he was sent to Camp Pickett, Virginia in August 1943 and was promoted to captain. On October 8, 1943, the 28th Infantry Division sailed to England where they were involved in further training before arriving in France in July 1944. Pretty soon the division was in action against German forces steadily pushing the enemy north then eastwards. On August 29, they paraded through the streets of Paris before continuing the drive through France and Luxembourg to the German border.

At the beginning on November 1944, the division was involved in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. On November 7, Captain Rokey died of wounds received in combat. He is buried at the American Military Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.

Beginning in 2004, a $5,000 Raymond Rokey Memorial Scholarship has been presented by the Rokey family to a Sabetha High School senior who “excels in athletic competition, achieves high academic standing in the classroom and demonstrates leadership in school and community social activities.”

In describing Ray Rokey, the scholarship says, “Raymond R. Rokey spent his life maximizing opportunities and giving - giving his best effort in all of his endeavors, giving his cheerful demeanor to those around him, giving his time to be part of community service activities, and giving his life so that others could enjoy theirs.

Ray left behind a legacy of true American heroism - he possessed integrity, an inherent desire for duty, accomplishment and civic service and the selflessness to put the needs of others before his own. Ray Rokey exemplified scholarship, athleticism and leadership throughout his life; similarly, the recipient of the Ray Rokey Memorial Scholarship should encompass the same values and characteristics.”

Ray Rokey

Ray Rokey at the plate for K-State

Ray Rokey

Ray Rokey scores for the K-State baseball team

Sources:
Lawrence Daily Journal-World, Nov 15, 1941
Hutchinson News, Feb 7, 1942
Lawrence Daily Journal-World, May 11, 1942
Atchison Daily Globe, Nov 22, 1944
KSU Royal Purple Yearbooks 1942 to 1945
Raymond Rokey Memorial Scholarship

Date Added April 19, 2013

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