LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Heartbreaking news as a staple in the Lawton community, Raymond McAlister, has passed away.
"It was like someone hit me with a baseball bat and knocked the wind out of me. I love Raymond. He made me a better man just by knowing him. I thank him for that," said Comanche County Sheriff Kenny Stradley.
If you've spent any amount of time in Lawton, chances are you've met Raymond. From football games to the race track, if there was an event going on, Raymond was there.
"He started doing radio at our football games. He'd be the first one there. We'd walk on the field at 5:30 and Raymond was set up there ready to go. We'd do a little mock interview before the game," said Lawton High School Football Coach Randy Breeze.
Whenever you ask anyone who knows Raymond what their favorite memory of his is, chances are they'll have one ready to go off the top of their head.
"We were at the cafe and he came up to me and said what are you doing. I said I'm fixing to get me a hamburger and fries. I said do you have any money? He says I've got five dollars but I need that for gas money. I said Raymond, you're riding a bicycle. He was always coming up with something like that," said Stradley.
"He did the radio for the basketball game. I got home from our game and David Bradley called me and said can you give me the final score. I said well let me call you right back. So, I called Raymond and Raymond knew the score so I called David Bradley back and said Raymond's got the score, he's got us covered," said Breeze.
Thousands of people in town have their own individual memories with Raymond, which is why he'll be missed so much by this entire community.
"He always checked how's your family, how's your mom. He was very cordial. Very recognizable young man for Lawton, Oklahoma. A personality we're going to miss for a long time," said Breeze.
"He's going to be missed. In my heart, there has always been a place for Raymond. But I'll tell you right now, he's with Jesus and he's probably trying to line everybody up, that was his way. I am honored to know Raymond my entire life. He's made me a better man," Stradley said.
Raymond's health had been declining in the last few weeks. He passed away Wednesday around noon. He was 60 years old. We'll bring you Raymond's funeral arrangements just as soon as they are announced.