Obituaries » Raymond Eugene “Sugaray” Dyke Jr.

Raymond Eugene “Sugaray” Dyke Jr.

February 1, 1972 - September 27, 2022

Raymond Eugene Dyke Jr, affectionately referred to as “Sugaray”, age 50, fell asleep in death Tuesday September 27, 2022, at Lynchburg General Hospital surrounded by the love of his mother and eldest sister.

Born February 1, 1972, in Lynchburg Virginia, he graduated from Heritage High School (class of 1990), and from Virginia College at Salem (class of 1996). Ray was passionate about animals from an early age was widely considered to be the foremost expert on reptiles, fish, insects, arachnids and amphibians. He was an outgoing, funny, compassionate person with a natural gift for making friends.

As the lone survivor of a devastating car accident that sadly, took the life of his good friend Jeff Pelton and others in 1993, Ray was left a paraplegic. Following the accident and grueling recovery he resumed attending the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Roanoke, VA and was later baptized. Although he struggled throughout the years Ray recently made a concerted effort to rekindle his relationship with Jehovah; even attending the congregation meetings on Zoom during the pandemic while in extreme pain due to advanced illness. An important lesson Ray learned through his faith was perseverance, endurance and humility. His faith also allowed him to convert his anger, depression and pain into opportunities to motivate and educate others about the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving, especially high school students. As a spokesperson for MAAD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and Rush Homes among others, Ray gave many speeches and granted television, newspaper and magazine interviews. He had a prominent social media presence with over 4,100 “Facebook Friends”. His “signature” photos were of his pet snakes or bearded dragons draped on him like accessories and of his beloved dog Leo. Ray was always busy making new posts and as such left an extensive collection of positive affirmations and motivational videos that will be cherished.

Ray is survived by his parents Raymond (Deborah)Dyke, Sr. and Patricia (Bruce)Johnson of Lynchburg VA
Siblings, Alina Dyke Weeks of Lynchburg VA, Jessica Dyke of Pittsburgh PA, Brittany Dyke of Virginia Beach VA, and Keith Anderson of Lynchburg VA; four nieces, Diamond (Mikhail) Carmichael of Lumberton NC, Ashia (Quan) Ward of Madison Heights VA, Ebonee Weeks of Lynchburg VA and Sunnie Davis of Virginia Beach VA, one nephew, Cameron Ferguson of Lynchburg VA; one great nephew; six great nieces; a stepmother Maryland (Lamont) Gibson, and a host of many other loving relatives and friends.

The family would like to thank everyone for their love, support and prayers on our behalf.
A very special thank you to the Palliative Care team, Doctors, Nurses and Aides on the Lynchburg General Hospital Oncology Unit for providing such outstanding and dignified Comfort Care for our dear loved one. You will never be forgotten.

When asked how he wanted to be remembered “Sug” simply said:

“As a man who loved his family and had a lot of animals.” ~ So, it shall be.

A “Friends and Family Meet and Greet”, will be held Friday, October 28, 2022, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, 220 Breezewood Drive Lynchburg, VA 24502. A Memorial Service will be October 29, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses 319 Wiggington Road Lynchburg, VA 24502.

Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg is assisting the family.

Click here to view Mr. Raymond Eugene Dyke Jr.’s Tribute Video.

Condolences & Tributes

Celebrate Raymond Eugene “Sugaray”'s life with a short message, photo or video!

My family and I are still in shock of this devastating, yet humbling news. Ray was "family"! Brother to myself, uncle to my kids and son to my parents. He was very loved, respected and admired by our family and mutual friends both close and distant areas. He was someone I looked up to, and qanted to "be like" as a kid and continuing as an adult. His knowledge and care that he both had and shared will never be forgotten. Well respected in the animal, not just the reptile community was always a big part of who he was and my personal drive to become more knowledgeable of all things animal, both wild and captive. He is definitely a leader in the Herptological community, who's light can never be replaced! I'm sure that he would say to us all, "Do not be sad for me, for I am healthy and happy with my Lord. It's all good now." So for anyone struggling over his loss, go on and remember Ray as he was. A teacher, a listener, a shoulder to cry on when times are tough, a caregiver, a brother, a son, an avid animal (of all kinds especially the "creepy crawling") lover, and most of all the best friend and role model that anyone could ask for. Fly high SugaRay! We will see each other again! Love you my "brother from another mother"!

Posted by David Mentzer on October 25, 2022

I can't imagine how incredibly happy Sug will be when he is running, sleeping and playing with animals in a peaceful new world! And I definitely want to learn from him as he studies the species of every kind! I will never forget when we were kids, I made friends with one of his chameleons. And that was the extent of how brave I was. I stayed clear of all that other wildlife he was always crazy about! To the family, I know Sug is missed and I am so sorry for your loss. Death is seen by Jehovah God as an enemy that He soon will bring to nothing. (1 Corinthians 15:26) And when He does, we will know true joy. (Revelation 21:4,5)

Posted by Anonymous on October 18, 2022

Patty and family I am so sorry to hear of your beloved Surgaray’s passing. Know that he is at peace and rest. My condolences to you and your family.

Posted by Marie Bolden on October 16, 2022

We hope to all be good at something. We all want to be liked. We all want to live. We all want to feel love. Sugaray made it look easy to do all at once. Stay strong to all and keep trust in our heavenly Father to make us all that He wants us to be.

Posted by Justin Cunningham on October 11, 2022

Regina and I are so pained by your loss. Sug was a unique person from a very early age. We hurt with you after that terrible accident so many years ago. We equally rejoice with you as SugarRay turned his attention back to Jehovah. Sug is out of pain now. Rest comfortably with your faith strong and unshaken as you move through the difficult days ahead. We love all of you as we hold spiritual hands walking toward the New System.

Posted by John & Regina Spinner on October 10, 2022

Posted by Gloria DuBose on October 1, 2022

Sugar Ray--what a perfect name! He was sweet as sugar and always a ray of hope and positivity and good cheer. I met him when I joined the board of Rush Homes. We wound up taping TV interviews about Rush Homes together, and shared Pizza Hut meat lover's pizza and Dr. Pepper while surrounded by all of his reptiles! It's hard to imagine the world without Ray in it. We are poorer for it. Rest well, my brother.

Posted by Neal Sumerlin on September 29, 2022

Ray was a strong presence in our group. Always sharing the best photos and uplifting words. He was someone you felt you had known for a long time, although it was only a couple of years. He was educated and compassionate in his love for his animals and always helped anyone he could with theirs. He will be missed so much! Rest in Heaven Ray.

Posted by Angela on September 29, 2022

I am deeply sorry for your loss. Ray added me as a friend on Facebook and I really didn’t know him. We graduated from the same high school and I was a couple of years in front. He saw I was friends with another person he knew. He just open my heart with his kind words and that awesome smile. I enjoyed every time he go live on Facebook. I’m truly going to miss that smile and words of wisdom. Job well done and it’s time to receive your crown. This is not goodbye but see you later friend

Posted by Renee Doyle on September 29, 2022

There is no way to sum up Ray's life in words...but I offer these pitiful few. I met Ray many years ago when we were both volunteers for Rush Homes. He had been asked to be the key speaker for their annual Dream Builders luncheon and I was pressed into service at the last minute to offer the opening prayer. We bonded over our mutual nerves! Later, when I worked for the agency I became his "landlord" and loved going by to visit with Ray and his menagerie. Not all of the staff embraced meeting his many bearded dragons, spiders, lizards and snakes but Ray taught me to see the beauty in those animals. Even after I left Rush Homes I treasured the times I spent with Ray, sitting on the porch watching the big-headed dog chase a ball in the yard. He loved Dr. Pepper and ravioli and when I went to visit him in the hospital, he was ready to enjoy his ravioli but nobody could find him a fork! He appreciated when I went down to the cafe area and kept opening drawers and cabinets until I found him forks! That is the thing I'll remember best about Ray - he truly appreciated his friends and spent time helping motivate us to all be the best we can be. I loved him and look forward to a rousing game of one-on-one in heaven with his new legs! Rest in peace my brother. You will be missed.

Posted by Chris Howell on September 29, 2022

Brother and Sister Johnson sorry for your loss. I will always remember him and David. The Lamberth Family.

Posted by The Lamberth Family on September 29, 2022

I have had the privilege of having Sugar Ray in my life for over 30 years. He was a friend and encourager like no other and I will miss him terribly. Lifting up all his family and friends in prayer during this time. 🙏❤️🙏

Posted by Valerie Archual on September 29, 2022

How to Write a Sympathy Message

Register now for the live seminar

Recent Articles

Click here to access Obituary Archives from 2014 and earlier.