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Ray Gilmer Bailey

May 28, 1924 ~ May 20, 2019 (age 94)


On May 20, 2019, Ray G. Bailey of Bostic, N. C., age 94, “slipped the surly bonds of Earth ...and touched the face of God.”

Ray never met a stranger and enjoyed nothing more than a good breakfast at Kwik Stop with J.D. or eggs and bacon at Smith’s Drugs with Ralph and Jack. Dinner at Scoggin’s—with special friend, Betty Isaac, Susan Padgett (a devoted niece), Jack, Ralph, Kay, and Fred—was among his favorite ways to spend a Saturday night.  Family and friends alike adored him because he was the life of the party. Everyone got a good laugh each time he teased, “When you’ve got it, you’ve got it!”

In his earlier years, Ray was very active in both the Masons and the Shriners. He was a Past Master of Forest City Masonic Lodge 381 and a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the 32nd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. He was admitted as a Noble of the Mystic Shrine in Oasis Temple of Charlotte. For several years, he served as a volunteer driver and transported sick and injured children to Shriners Hospitals throughout the country.

Ray was a professional truck driver for Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation, a job in which he took great pride. During his career, he was given the NC. Driver of the Month award for Outstanding Service as a Professional Truck Driver by the N. C. Trucking Association and a Distinguished Service Award from Carolina Freight Carriers for 37 years of dedicated and loyal service.

Ray met the love of his life, Eunice Wray, when they were both teenagers growing up in Bostic. They were married for 50 years before her death in 1993. His second wife, Catherine Jolley, brought happiness back into his life before her death nine years later.

He was the son of the late Yates and Mary Bailey of Bostic and the brother of the late Vance Bailey. He was a life-long member of First Baptist Church in Bostic.

Family was Ray’s greatest joy. He had two children, Bob Bailey (Sheila) of Raleigh, N.C., and Gail Thompson of Chesapeake, Virginia.  He also leaves behind to cherish his memory three grandchildren, Bert Thompson (Marsha) of Chesapeake, Virginia; Brett Thompson (Tiffany) of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Barbara Swails (Brian) of Wilmington, N. C.  But his greatest pride and joy were his 12 great grandchildren: Brooke, Bethany, Ava, Alivia, Madison, Bailey, Barrett, Beckett, Bella, Briana, Brock, and Brody.

Our family is truly grateful for Dad’s long life, his endless generosity, and his unconditional love that will continue to guide us for the rest of our lives.

When we think of Dad, Shakespeare said it best: “When he shall die take him and cut him out into stars and he shall make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night....”

The family will receive friends on Saturday, May 25, 2019, from 1:30-2:30 p.m. at The Padgett and King Mortuary. A Masonic Graveside Service will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Bostic Baptist Cemetery with Reverend Travis Laflin officiating. Memorial donations may be made to any of the Shriners Hospitals for Children.  The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and online guest registry is available at

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