Legendary Ringling coach dead at age 59

Rick Gandy (1948-2008)
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RINGLING, Okla. -- Funeral services for Coach Rick Gandy, 59, of Ringling will be 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2008, at the 50-yard-line of the Blue Devil Stadium in Ringling with Rev. Mike Williams and Rev. Paul Reed officiating. Interment will follow at Ringling Memorial Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Alexander Funeral Home in Ringling.

Coach Rick Gandy was born August 19, 1948 at Redlands, California, to Leroy and Oleta Pearl Johnson Gandy. Leaving and indelible mark on this world, he departed it on Monday, June 16, 2008, at Healdton from complications of injuries received in a horse riding accident on February 22, 2005.

Growing up in Ringling, Rick was active in Athletics and the FFA. On August 31, 1968, he married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Kay Longest. They were soon blessed with two sons, Richie and Tracy.

Upon graduation from college in 1970, he began teaching and coaching in the Ringling Public School system. He held many positions in his 37 years, including High School Principal and Superintendent, but always found himself back to coaching the Ringling Blue Devils Football Team. His career record stood, 242 winning Football games, of 28 seasons, 26 as head coach. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and had been the All State Head Football Coach in 1984.

Rick lost his mother in March of 1976 only months after making his first appearance in the Oklahoma Class A Football Championship Game. He was also preceded in death by his parents-in-law, R.T. and Lorene Longest.

He leaves behind a winning legacy football program that will be a part of Blue Devil Football forever. Rick was a member of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Ringling.

Honorary Bearers will be whom Coach Rick Gandy stated as “All students that I had the opportunity to teach and all the athletes that I had the opportunity to coach”.

Family visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday evening at Alexander Funeral Home in Ringling.

Memorials are asked to be sent to the Rick Gandy Memorial Scholarship Fund in c/o First National Bank and Trust at 125 W. Main St., Ringling, OK 73456.

Condolences may be sent online at http://www.alexanderfuneralhome.org

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