All-night vigil set for 'prayer warrior' accident victims
Friends and family of Ray and Denice Bina know they are together even as they mourn loss of a couple who brightened the lives of everyone around them.
Rose Davidson is confident they are with God, but admits there are times when she can’t quit crying.
She never has known better people or better friends.
“You can’t fill that place in your heart, you just can’t,” she said.
The couple were killed Saturday in an accident on I-135 south of Newton.
They will be remembered Friday during an all-night adoration vigil set to start at 8 p.m. at St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen. Rosary is planned for 7 p.m. Friday. Mass of Christian burial will at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Davidson says Denice was the first one to welcome her when she moved to Kansas.
She even bought a cake for them to share as the living room furniture was being unpacked.
“We were good friends ever since,” Davidson said. “She was the best person you would ever want to know.”
The Binas raised a tight-knit family of nine kids and 12 grandchildren during 47 years of marriage.
They made their Catholic faith central to their lives and were active member of St. John Nepomucene.
Davidson says Denice was a dynamic partner, but Ray always was by her side.
“He was so laid back and so funny with such a sly wit,” she said, remembering his ready smile. “He was always right there with her if she said, ‘Come on, Ray, Let’s go.’”
Ray helped first cousin Ron Jirak run operations at his Jirak Brothers Produce.
“Ray was instrumental in growing the produce you have enjoyed over the years,” Jirak said. “Words cannot describe the loss. May the perpetual light shine on him and through the mercy of God Rest In Peace.”
Marion postmaster Lori Kelsey relied on Denice for decades as lead clerk at Marion’s city post office.
Bina was able to learn and eager to pitch in.
She helped customers at the window, tracked lost packages, and even delivered mail — a Godsend in an office with limited staff.
“She did everything and she was amazing,” Kelsey said. “Anything you would ask her to do, she could do it — and anything she didn’t know how to do, she would learn.”
Denice was patient and eager to help in situations that would have annoyed most clerks.
“People could bring in a stack full of items they were going to mail and she would help them get it all ready,” she said. “You’re supposed to bring your packages already prepared. She would help them find boxes and packing materials.”
Denice had ready words of wisdom to calm Kelsey when things got hectic.
“Pray, hope and don’t worry,” was a frequent favorite Kelsey said, but Denice taught her a special prayer to say when she felt overwhelmed.
“Ever present God, bear with me now, help me to be here with you,” she said.
That was typical of Denice, she always would ask her how she could say a prayer for her.
It made Davidson stop and think about her request.
“For her (Denice) it was like going to God with a laser beam request, not like a sprinkler system that goes everywhere, a fire hose of prayer” she said. “I want to be like that.”
Both Denice, 65, and Ray, 71, were wearing safety restraints, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol.
They were in a 2008 Lincoln MKZ. Their bodies were taken to Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center.
The driver of the semi, Evan M. Newman, 25, of Udall, suffered no apparent injury, according to the highway patrol.
He was driving a 2019 Freightliner pulling a Wabash trailer.
Last modified July 22, 2021