Carl Lee Ray
June 11, 1931 – September 20, 2019
Carl Lee Ray, 88 passed away Friday, September 20 at his home. Mr. Ray was born June 11, 1931 in Church Hill, Tennessee and was the son of the late Ivan “Ted” Ray and Dollis Sykes Ray. Also preceding him in death was a son, Donald Ray Wilson; three brothers: Ivan Ray Jr, Elmer Ray, and Ernest G. “EG” Ray and sisters Kathleen (Ray) Light and Velma Sue (Ray) Frazier. He leaves behind his devoted wife Helen (Sluss) Ray of more than sixty two years and two children: Michael L. Ray of Kingsport with wife Joyce (Lankford) Ray and Beverly “BJ” (Ray) Miller of Asheville, NC; five grandchildren: Dylan Miller, Shelley Ray; Heather Ray; Kirstie Wilson; Zachary Wilson and great granddaughter Vivian Bair, two brothers, Arling C. Ray, Howard D. Ray and sister Wilma J. Thomas.
Mr. Ray served in the U.S. Air Force from 1949-1952 as an Airman First Class. He was trained as an aircraft mechanic, stationed in Korea and Japan during the Korean War and later became a life member of the VFW.
Baptized at Greenvale Baptist Church in 1952 he was an active member and past board member of “The Rest of God Ministries” Blountville, TN, pastored by William C. Hicks.
After taking early retirement from Eastman Kodak in 1987 he enjoyed volunteer work, traveling with the SOWER (Servants on Wheels Ever Ready) Ministry. His passion for family genealogy created a body of work that was donated in his name to the Sullivan County Historical Society. He was an avid organic gardener known for his fruit trees, vegetable gardens and perennial flower beds.
Mr. Ray was awarded the Appalachian Trail 2000 Miler in 1994, for completing the trail in its entirety from Georgia to Maine. Over half the trail was hiked with his son and another fourth of the trail with his wife. Ruritan awarded him Volunteer of the Year in 2009 for his dedication to keeping the Memorial Boulevard hillside from Chestnut Ridge to East Lawn cemetery litter free.
The family will receive friends Tuesday, September 24th from noon until time of service at 2pm at East Lawn Funeral Home, Memorial Boulevard. Funeral services will be led by Pastor Bill Hicks with music provided by Mark Stayton. Entombment to follow in the Chapel of Memories Mausoleum immediately following the service.
We wish to thank Avalon Hospice for their wonderful care during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Carl L. Ray to the Samaritan’s Purse Relief Fund, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC. 28607.
Online condolences may be made to the Ray family at www.eastlawnkingsport.com. East Lawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park has the honor of serving the Ray family.
- Ivan "Ted" and Dollis (Sykes) Ray, Parents (deceased)
- Donald Ray Wilson, Son (deceased)
- Ivan Ray Jr., Elmer Ray, and Ernest G. "EG" Ray, Three Brothers (deceased)
- Katheen (Ray) Light and Velma Sue (Ray) Frazier, Sisters (deceased)
- Helen (Sluss) Ray, Wife of 62 years
- Michael L. Ray & wife Joyce (Lankford), Son
- Beverly B.J (Ray) Miller, Daughter
- Dylan Miller, Shelley Ray, Heather Ray, Kirstie Wilson, and Zachary Wilson, Five Grandchildren
- Vivian Bair, Great-Granddaughter
- Arling C. Ray and Howard D. Ray, Two Brothers
- Wilma J. Thomas, Sister
- Visitation Tuesday, September 24, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, September 24, 2019
- Entombment Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Carl Lee Ray
September 24, 2019
Carl and I have been family for 32 years; the first 20 years I was his daughter in law married to his son, Don until he passed away from cancer in 2008. From the first time I met Carl to the day the Lord called him home, he was one of the most genuine people I have ever known. He was a godly man with a great sense of humor with a contagious laugh! He loved his children, grandchildren and his great granddaughter with all his heart! I loved Carl and miss him so much! I know he has been reunited with Don and can only imagine what a glorious reunion they are having in the presence of the Lord! I can't wait to see him again! Much love and prayers to the family and friends Carl has left behind.