Vail Daily obituary: Raymond Leslie McMahan, 1943-2016 |

Vail Daily obituary: Raymond Leslie McMahan, 1943-2016

Raymond Leslie McMahan, precious father, dearest brother, outstanding uncle and faithful friend, passed in his sleep on March 30 at age 73.

Ray was born in Williams, Arizona, on June 5, 1943, to Leslie Raymond McMahan and Anita Ada McMahan. He graduated from Globe High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from University of Arizona in 1968. He participated in high school and college power-lifting competitions, setting some Arizona state “clean and jerk” records in his weight class. After college, he was recruited to Boise Cascade, Idaho, as a senior auditor. He was later transferred to San Diego, California, with Psychology Today magazine. Ray stayed in San Diego for a decade, opening The Jesus Store, a Christian book store in Leucadia, and working in hospital administration at Children’s Hospital and Hillside Hospital. Concurrently, he was a youth minister at Calvary Chapel.

In 1982, he moved to Vail, eventually becoming administrator of the Vail Valley Medical Center. During Ray’s tenure, he helped to recruit Dr. Richard Steadman, and transform VVMC from a regional emergency facility to a world-class medical center including the internationally renowned Steadman Clinic and Howard Head Sports Medicine Center. Ray was also the children’s minister at Vail Baptist Church. An avid outdoorsman, Ray summited 42 of Colorado’s 53 14ers. His great friend Jim Moslander was his climbing partner on many of the 14ers, but most were solo, with his black Lab, named D-O-G. “How do you spell that?” he would laugh.

Retiring in 1996, he moved to Prescott, Arizona, where he devoted himself to caring for his parents, who each lived to be nearly 100 years old, and pursuing his lifelong passion in Christian ministry at He held a senior’s Snowbowl season pass this year and had a broken shoulder from his final snowboard trip. A veteran rider for over 30 years, Ray was rumored to be the oldest snowboarder in the McMahan family, if not the world. Vacations with his beloved boys were often spent chasing powder. Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Canada and the world’s southern-most ski area in Ushuaia, Argentina, were among the destinations. Childhood friend Roger Robidoux said, “Ray loved to snowboard.”

Although the family is heart-broken, we recognize that Ray’s devotion and servitude to Jesus Christ has ensured him a place beside the Lord in everlasting life.

Ray is survived by his sons Justin and Noah, sisters Laura and Pamela, brother-in-law Dale and many much-loved in-laws, nieces, nephews, family and friends.

Services will be held at Thumb Butte Group Picnic Site in Prescott, Arizona, at noon on June 5.

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