James W. (Bill) Ray
April 28, 1934 – April 22, 2021
The children of James W. (Bill) Ray are saddened to announce his death, after a short illness, on 22 April 2021 at the age of 86.
Bill Ray was born on 28 April 1934 in Dyersburg, Tenn. After graduating from high school in 1952, he attended the United States Military Academy at West Point in the summer of 1953. While at West Point, Bill met his future wife, Bamby, and they were married shortly after his graduation. They remained a loving couple until Bamby's death in 2012 and traveled, hiked and skied most of their lives.
Bill had a long and distinguished career as an Army officer, retiring at the rank of Major General with more than 34 years of service in 1987. Highlights included serving two tours in Vietnam, serving as Commander of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Middle East Division, Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, and serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff, Engineer for the United States Army, Europe.
After retiring from the Army, Bill and Bamby moved to Atlanta, GA, where he worked for Georgia Tech, overseeing the construction of the Olympic Village and the Aquatic Center for the 1996 Olympics. The dormitory design, with apartment-style living, has helped Georgia Tech in recruiting world-class students. After the Olympics, Bill remained with Georgia Tech facilities and athletic departments until December 1996 when he went to work for Draper and Associates as a consulting engineer.
Bill was a strong supporter of West Point and the Class of '57. He served as the president of the Class of '57 from April 2017 until February, 2021.
Bill is survived by his brother, Lloyd (Sonny) Ray, and by his three children, Mark, William (Gus), and Karen.
In lieu of flowers, the Ray family suggests considering a donation in Bill's honor to the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, http://www.hicashlt.org/in-honor--in-memory.html.
- Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust