Cover photo for Ray Dorsett's Obituary
Ray Dorsett Profile Photo

Ray Dorsett

July 29, 1943 — January 19, 2024

Ray Dorsett

Raymond Roger Dorsett was born in Mineral Wells, Texas, on July 29, 1943. Though a world traveler, he lived most of his years in Wichita, Kansas. His Lord and Savior welcomed him to Glory for eternity on January 19, 2024.


Ray was a transformed man of God. He grew in the grace and knowledge of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and lived a life shaped by his personal relationship and daily walk with God for over fifty years. Ray's love for God was unmistakable. It was evident that he was fully immersed in communion with the purposes and work of the Almighty. He could convey to his generation and everyone he met a sense of the nearness and goodness of God.


Ray was a lover of strangers, internationals, neighbors, and scores of friends, and especially his beloved wife, children, grandchildren, brothers, brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and extended family. His love of life and love of people created many opportunities for service and leadership over several decades in Wichita. He was a successful entrepreneur, business owner, and storyteller. He held leadership and board roles for numerous national and global non-profit organizations, including the Salvation Army, World Impact, and TUMI. 


Ray mentored many men, and most would say his impact on their lives and the lives of their families was invaluable. And Ray spoke life—words of kindness, purpose, and hope—to anyone he encountered. His eye for photography helped him recognize the uniqueness and beauty in others. Without fail, he brought purpose and courage in others to the surface—inspiring the lives of countless people.


He loved interacting with and helping numerous international students, refugees, and less fortunate people in his community, and he did so with passion and vision. He and his wife, Kulsum, were active members of First Free Church in Wichita for over 45 years, where he held roles as a teacher and church elder. He was a strong advocate for both international and local missions.


Ray was a graduate of Wichita State University, and after obtaining his master's degree, he employed his considerable talents as a photographer, writer, and videographer. His passion sparked a worldwide adventure that spanned many countries and continents. His favorite country was Kenya, where he was so loved and respected by the Kenyans that they made him an honorary member of the Masai tribe.  More importantly, he met and fell in love with a beautiful girl named Kulsum, leading to a marriage that lasted nearly 50 years. They tragically lost their first daughter, Sara, shortly after birth due to congenital heart problems. Later they became the proud parents of their daughter Andrea and their son David. And they were blessed with two beloved granddaughters—Bryn and Blythe Elizabeth—who brought immeasurable joy and a fresh burst of creativity into Pop's life.


In a book Ray penned about the providence of God in his life, he recalls Christmas of 1969. He was in Bethlehem, Israel, and feeling lost on the inside—without purpose. After spending most of his 20s on great world adventures, and having achieved some success as a photographer, exploring the religions of the world and all the knowledge he could absorb from books and scholars, he started to question if he’d ever find what he was looking for out there—Purpose. He was tired of living for himself, knew there was a creator God, and knew that is who gave him life. But he’d never asked God what life's meaning was or his own purpose—why did God make Ray Dorsett?


Ray sensed a drawing to Jesus and felt compelled to look honestly in the mirror. He realized that he had made himself the center of the universe—living life like it was his to do with as he pleased.  He became aware of his sin—how he’d put himself first, sought his success without concern for how it may hurt others, written people off, and more. 


It was there in Bethlehem that Ray began to understand what life was all about. He came to realize that from a throne of endless Glory to a cradle in the dirt, Jesus came to redeem God’s whole creation with His finished work on the cross. This is our salvation—Jesus, for our sake, died, conquered death through His resurrection, and made a way for every soul who comes to God through Him to be restored and live victoriously with the assurance of eternal life.


One of Ray’s favorite scriptures is Titus 3: 3-6:  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.


Knowing Ray Dorsett was a beautiful experience for many. He gave his time, treasure, and talent freely, loving people unconditionally. We all strain our ears toward heaven to hear the roaring celebration upon his arrival—as he meets Jesus face to face. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” — Hebrews 12:1-2


Ray was preceded in death by his daughter, Sara Christine Dorsett and his parents, Ed and Lois Dorsett. 


He is survived by his wife, Kulsum; son, David Dorsett; daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Michael Barger; granddaughters, Bryn Barger and Blythe Elizabeth Barger; brothers, William (Bill) Dorsett and Al Dorsett; and many extended family in Kenya and across the United States. 



In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established with:


First Evangelical Free Church

1825 N. Woodlawn

Wichita, KS 67208


World Impact (TUMI)

3701 E. 13th St. N.

Wichita, KS 67208


Union Rescue Mission

2800 N. Hillside

Wichita, KS 67219 

Click the link below to view the Recording

Tribute by Russ and Catherine Calkins
Dorsett, Ray Flower Photos.pdf

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First Evangelical Free Church

1825 N Woodlawn Blvd, Wichita, KS 67208

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