Raymon Lacy was born on August 12, 1922, in Tyler, Texas, to Lutisha James Lacy and Archie Lacy. He and his brother, J.T., grew up on a farm outside of Tyler, and he acquired his passion for the game of baseball from his father, who played with barnstorming baseball teams.
He graduated salutatorian of his Stanton High School class, while excelling in baseball, basketball, and football. He attended Prairie View A&M college before interrupting his education to enter military service. He served in the South Pacific during WWII, where he was a water purification specialist with the aviation engineers. After his military service, he returned to Tyler, where he attended Texas College and played baseball during the summers for the Jasper Steers, a semi-professional baseball team.
Following college graduation, he played segregated baseball for a decade in the Negro Leagues for teams in Atlanta; Newark; Houston; Homestead, PA; and Branford, Ontario Canada. The left-handed hitting third baseman and right fielder played against Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, “Cool Papa” Bell, Josh Gibson, and Satchel Paige. He did not allow the prejudice he encountered while playing in the segregated south during the 1940’s to extinguish his dream or diminish his passion for the game. While playing for the Atlanta Black Crackers, he was one of four Texans known as the Texas Jackrabbits. Among the four were future major league infielder, Charlie Neal of Longview, Texas.
During his playing days with the Homestead Grays, one of his teammates was future major league slugger, Luke Easter. He was also teammates with future black pioneer major league players after the Eagles moved Newark to Houston. These include Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, and Don Newcombe. He continued playing baseball for five more years after the Eagles moved to Houston. He then gave up the game to focus on teaching.
In September 1949, he accepted his first teaching job at Wiergate, Texas, where he taught social studies. Other school systems he also taught in were Kountze, Groveton, Diboll, San Augustine, Jasper, and Burkeville. In addition to teaching social studies, he also coached baseball, basketball, and football. He earned a master’s degree at Stephen F. Austin State College and became certified as a school administrator. He served as principal and assistant superintendent at Burkeville, where he also served on the school board in his 80’s, after he retired.
On Christmas Day 1949, he married fellow educator, Vera Kirksey, who had transferred back to Wiergate from Newton County’s old Biloxi school district. They were blessed with a daughter, Dr. Debra Lacy, currently of San Diego, CA. They remained married until her death on December 27, 2007. He and his wife had 110 combined years of teaching in the State public school system, which is believed to be a record that still stands to this day. He was later married to Pearl Warren, until her death.
He served on the deacon board and remained a faithful, loyal, and supportive member of the Bethel Hill Baptist Church until his passing.
Memorial service with military honors will be Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 2:30 PM, at the Burkeville High School Gym, 231 County Rd. 2099, Burkeville, TX., under the direction of Coleman’s Mortuary in Jasper, TX.