Tom Keegan
Special to The Gardner News
A family that creates the right mood in the air can make a band box feel more like a mansion. To know Kansas University volleyball coach Ray Bechard is to suspect the small home in tiny, rural Grinnell he shared with his parents and six siblings felt plenty roomy.
“Three bedrooms, one bathroom, about 1,200 square feet,” he said of the home. “We thought we had it pretty good growing up.”
A tape measure is not the right tool to use to determine whether a house blossoms into a home that comforts, nurtures and secures the minds of those who dwell in it.
The Bechards of Grinnell had a daughter, followed by five sons and then another daughter. When Don Bechard was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and two years later died in September of 2008, it rocked the family’s world.

Don Bechard


Last Saturday’s KU volleyball match against Iowa State wasn’t just another night at Horejsi for more reasons than the Cyclones’ No. 10 national ranking.
It was one of a series of Jayhawks for a Cure events designed to raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Customers wearing pink were admitted for $3. For Ray Bechard, it’s another way to remember his brother, Don, a lifelong coach who starred in multiple sports and excelled in the classroom in high school.
Read the rest of the story here.
Story reprinted in The Gardner News with permission from The Lawrence Journal-World.