Ray Whitlow Remembered
Students and staff at Tri-Cities Prep in Pasco are grieving the loss of a beloved mentor and friend today, as the death of Kennewick attorney Ray Whitlow sinks in.
Whitlow died yesterday in a car accident on snoqualmie pass. But he was deeply involved at the high school, where he served as the athletic director and friend to many.
The 65-year-old was a pillar among men, and will leave a lasting legacy at the school where he gave of himself generously over 15 years. Today it was the students' turn.
At this memorial in his parking spot, they left quotes for him, advice he gave them -- pushing them to be the best they could be.
Principal Arlene Jones said, "He embodied service above self. He was a very compassionate man, and a very generous man who at the same time had the highest standard for behavior."
She also pointed to reminders of Mr. Whitlow everywhere at the school, from plaques on the wall to the uniforms that the kids wear, which he often funded himself. And each tidbit has a story.
"He would take all of the uniforms home and launder them himself. In fact a big taboo for the kids was you didn't take your uniform home - ever - whatever you do! He would take them home and he would bring them back on hangars ready to go... so now we're trying to figure out who's gonna clean our uniforms," said Jones.
Staff at the school say the students are devastated, that the death comes as a shock, and he was clearly a rock for the student body.
On the concrete, student Emma Stewart writes: No one will ever have as much patience as you - the lessons you have taught us are about so much more than sports.
While Sharlett Kon posts her favorite Whitlow quote: Be the best and the brightest!
And Madison Taber tweets another familiar quote: Things must be difficult before they get easier.
Staff member Theresa Kruschke, whose two kids graduated under Whitlow's guidance, says he made a major impact on everyone he encountered at school, especially the students.
Mr. Whitlow leaves behnd a wife. And even though the couple did not have any children of their own, Principal Jones says he's left behind thousands of kids. Kids who looked to him as a father figure.
According to Tri-Cities Prep administrators, and at Mr. Whitlow and his wife's request, there will be no funeral or public memorial services.