Lonnie Carroll Ray of Harris Henrietta Road, Forest City, died Monday, July 16, 2018. He was born April 22, 1937 in Caroleen, NC to Roy Rass Ray and Willie Margaret Deese Ray, who preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife of sixty two years, Jacola Phillips Ray; a son, Phillip Anthony Ray and wife Lisa Crawley Ray; two grandsons, Jeremy Phillip Ray and wife Elizabeth Smith Ray and Dustin Andrew Ray; and two great grandsons, Zachary Connor Ray and Liam Michael Ray. He is also survived by sisters, Martha Hamrick and Rita Baynard and a brother, Dennis Ray.
He was an active member of Florence Baptist Church. Mr. Ray was a veteran of the US Air Force in active and reserve duty from June 21, 1955 until June 21, 1963. During that time he served as a Russian Cryptanalyst. He retired in 2000 after thirty years serving as the manager of Region C for the NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Lonnie was also a graduate of Gardner-Webb University with a BS in Psychology. He was involved in many groups and activities in the county: a member of American Legion Post 74 and Blue Ridge Chapter of Sons of the American Revolution. He also served as chairman of the Rutherford County Planning Board, and a member of the Rutherford County Economic Development Board, Region C Workforce Board, Transportation Board, TDA Board, Sweep Committee, ICC Handicapped Advisory Board, substitute teacher at Chase High School; Registrar, Haynes Number One Precinct, Past-president of Chase Youth Football, and Chase Band Boosters. Lonnie was an avid reader and collector of American History. He was also a Dixieland Jazz and Blues Buff.
A celebration of life service will be held at 1 pm Thursday, July 19, 2018 in the Florence Baptist Church with Dr. Bobby Gantt officiating. Interment will follow in the Rutherford County Memorial Cemetery with military honors accorded by the Rutherford County Honor Guard. The family will receive friends from 12 to 1 pm Thursday in the narthex of the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be to the Florence Baptist Church Building Fund, 201 S. Broadway Street, Forest City, NC 28043.
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