Ray Barrette, better known as “Coach” of Kissimmee, Florida, was born February 6, 1938, in Albany NY. He was a graduate of Osceola High School and served in the United States Army as a Cryptologist before returning to college in 1960. He taught physical education at Central Avenue Elementary School for over 35 years and was invested heavily in the youth of Osceola County. Over the years he coached baseball and football at almost every level from Little League and Pee-wee up through Varsity for Osceola High School. His greatest source of pride was not the wins or losses, or championships won. It was the love and passion for teaching life skills on the field that would give young men and women the tools necessary to become the best adults they could possibly be. In his retirement he was a constant presence at games, performances, and events as he continued to support the Kissimmee Kowboys. He gave much to his community and will be greatly missed.
Coach Barrette passed away on September 2, 2019, at his home with his loved ones by his side after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 81 years old.
To his nieces and nephews, he was more of a father figure than an uncle. He was the very definition of true, unconditional love. He was a wonderful son, brother, uncle and friend to so many and leaves a legacy that will continue forever in the lives he touched.
Those left to cherish Coach Barrette’s beautiful memory are his sister, Sharon Benson, and her husband, Jack; his nieces, Lucinda Briggs and Christie Barrette Lagana; his nephews, Bill Tolliver Jr, Wade Tolliver, and his wife Bonnie; five great nieces and nephews, and four great great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Helen and Hugh Barrette, his brother Bobby Barrette and his great niece Lucinda Tolliver.
A memorial Gathering will be held from 2-4 PM Sunday September 8, 2019, at Osceola Memory Gardens, 1717 Old Boggy Creek Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744. 407.847.2494. www.osceolamemgds.com.
At Ray’s request, in lieu of flowers donations can be made to Central Avenue Elementary School Physical Education Department at https://caes.osceolaschools.net