Former NFL Player Ray Oldham Dies Of Apparent Heart Attack

Monday, July 25, 2005 - by Stan Crawley
Ray Oldham
Ray Oldham

Chattanooga businessman and former NFL player Ray Oldham died Saturday morning after he apparently had a heart attack while on a bike ride. He was 54.

The Oldham family will receive friends on Tuesday from 2-4 and 4-6 at the Heritage Funeral Home on East Brainerd Road. The funeral will be at the Heritage Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday at 11 a.m. with interment to follow in Chattanooga Memorial Park.

Chuck Sanders, a close friend and business associate, said Mr. Oldham went for a bike ride early Saturday morning. He was training for a 65-kilometer race. An official from the Hamilton County Sherriff's Department notified the family later that morning that Mr. Oldham's body had been found in Falling Water.

"I was very, very close to Ray,'' Mr. Sanders said. "He was a dear friend. This has been a struggle.

"It appears he died of natural causes, probably a heart attack. The officers at the scene said there were no marks on Ray or his bike.''

Ray Oldham played football at Gallatin (Tenn.) High School and at Middle Tennessee State University. He was a defensive back for Pittsburg when the Steelers won the 1978 Super Bowl.

In 1987, he opened the first office in Chattanooga for Raymond James and Associates. He started Investment Management Group in 1989, and in 1994 founded Champion Cleaners Franchise, Inc.

Mr. Oldham joined FranChoice, a national franchise consulting company, in 2001. He was also a motivational speaker and since 2004 had formed VL Capital Partners, LLC, which has rights to the Victory Lane Quick Oil Change facilities throughout the state.

For more on Ray Oldham's life, see

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