In Loving Memory of Ray Mentzer

(August 2, 1953 - June 12, 2001)

Thank you for joining me as I honor the life and legacy of Ray Mentzer. All who had the privilege of knowing Ray cherish their memories of him, and hold high respect for his many accomplishments, and all that he stood for as a man of character. Ray had his own beliefs and his own voice, and like his big brother Mike, he had no hesitation in expressing it and, again like Mike, Ray's was a voice of reason. Ray followed the philosophy of Objectivism, and he also believed in the importance of balancing the various roles in one's life in order to find the most enduring and significant happiness.

Ray Mentzer

Of all the roles he had, Ray proudly acknowledged that it was his role as a father that proved to be the greatest and most significant role in his life. His daughter (now sixteen) was his purpose and reason in life, and he valued her above anything else that life had to offer. It was my good fortune to have been a part of some of their time spent together over the years, and I can attest that there was no greater happiness for Ray that his daughter.

Although Ray had his own views when it came to the subject of bodybuilding, exercise science, and philosophy, because his was a rational approach to exercise, he shared many of the same views as Mike. As had been the case throughout his life dating back to when he was a young boy (Ray being 2 years younger than Mike), Ray looked up to his brother throughout his life - even during sibling differences. It seemed that Ray was somehow always in the background or in the shadow of Mike, but this wasn't an important issue to him, because he admired his brother.

Ray held various bodybuilding titles, the last one being that of Mr. America, and the Mentzer Brothers were the only two brothers who ever won that title. They were each other's training partners, and at the early stages of the evolution of HEAVY DUTY training, Ray was very instrumental in the various research and studies that helped to shape both men's approach to high intensity training.

Although Ray was favored by many in the sport of bodybuilding to go "all the way", he left competitive bodybuilding in the early 1980's, however, he remained active in promoting proper bodybuilding. He was sought after and traveled the world conducting seminars, wrote for various muscle magazines, and owned and operated gyms (both in California and in Australia). Ray followed his dreams and pursued his education that enabled him to eventually set up and own six medical diagnostic and rehabilitation clinics. Once again, he reached the point of being successful in this field and was highly respected as one of the top people in the field of rehabilitation. His clinics used state of the art computerized diagnostic machines from the MedX Corporation and also hand-chosen Nautilus equipment for further muscle strengthening - again using high-intensity training. As the Administrator of his clinics, it enabled me to see the excellence of Ray's knowledge and ability to enhance the patients' progress to full rehabilitation in most cases.

While Ray did not open himself to many people, I had the privilege of getting to know "the man behind the muscles" - the one that most people could never get close to. Two months after I met Ray he told everyone that I was his "big sister" -- and we acted like siblings with each other and lovingly shared innermost secrets. His heart was bigger than he was; Ray laughed easily, had a great sense of humor, and gave the best "bear hugs". My hope is to (one day) share with you more about Ray Mentzer, so that you will get to know him for the truly remarkable man that he was.

I'd like to briefly mention that there is no other man that I have met in my lifetime, whose level of courage can come close to the courage of Ray Mentzer. I witnessed his heroic struggle through both the best and the worst of times, and the last three years of his life were painful and discouraging due to dialysis. Ray was in and out of the hospital with a genetic blood clotting disorder, whereby his body manufactured blood clots in his arteries. This was an impediment to successful dialysis treatment many times and would have toppled a man of lesser character - yet Ray persevered. Yes, he was a truly strong man, in the purest sense of the term - and a man of the utmost courage!

I have had the opportunity to search, review and compile a collection of his notes, writing and audios that will be released in due time. All of this will be accomplished for the good of his legacy and for the benefit of his daughter.

Thank you for the volume of emails and calls regarding Ray Mentzer and his works, and your interest in him and need to know more about him are all greatly appreciated. Any new announcements regarding his work will be made through website.

As you remember Ray, please think of his daughter by sending positive thoughts her way as a means to help with the loss of her father at such a young age. Ray always was proud of her, and I certainly am as well.

Thank you for joining us as we remember Ray fondly, and cherish the many wonderful memories shared in some way.

In loving memory for a big-hearted "brother",

Joanne Sharkey

Read Tribute for Mike Mentzer

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