James Leonard Rayle Jr.

March 17, 1935February 20, 2014

James Leonard Rayle, Jr. (78) of 806 Chesterfield Circle SW in Lenoir, NC passed away in his sleep at his home in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 20th, 2014. 'Jim' had been battling a 15-year-long fight with Alzheimer's Disease. He died due to complications associated with the late stages of the disease. He had been under home Hospice care for the last year-and-a-half. Jim was living at his home with his wife, two sons, and daughter-in-law (who have all been acting as his caregivers for the past ten years).

Jim was born on March 17th, 1935 in Statesville, NC, and from a very young age, he was interested in flying ever since his uncle took Jim up in his bi-wing 'crop-dusting' plane one day back in the late 1940s . After graduating high school in 1953, Jim went into the electrical business; first working for Gibbons Electric of Lenoir and then eventually becoming President of his own company, GRA Electric Service.

Over the years, Jim's reputation grew as the 'go-to' man for the best electrical repair work in the area (especially air-conditioning repair and complicated automation control systems used in furniture plants and other industries). He would often receive service calls from as far outside the Lenoir area as Banner Elk, Asheville, and Statesville due to his reputation, rather than local electricians in those areas being called to handle the jobs.

He was a member of the Jaycees and the Lions Club, and he found time to be on the Lenoir Planning Board and the Board of Adjustments for many years. He did a tremendous amount of electrical repair and service work for free for the First United Methodist Church of Lenoir (of which he and his family were members) between the 1970s and the early 2000s. ( Many a Saturday night Jim could be found up at the church working into the late hours on the churches furnace to make sure it was up and running for the next day’s Sunday School classes and/or the boiler under the sanctuary to make sure it was working for the next days Sunday Morning Services.) Jim also served as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the church for about a decade.

In 1975, Jim took 'ground school' private pilot classes at Caldwell Community College, and later began flying with an instructor out of Lower Creek Airport. On June 15th, 1976 Jim fulfilled his dream of becoming a pilot when he 'soloed' and got his pilot’s license. Throughout the 1980s, Jim and his flying buddies would fly just about every Sunday afternoon out at Lower Creek Airport or Morganton/Lenoir Airport (including 'glider' flying).

But, besides being an electrician 'extraordinaire' and an excellent pilot, Jim will best be remembered by his family and friends as a giving, generous soul who always tried to help no matter what the situation or problem. Jim was the son of James Leonard Rayle, Sr. and Viola Cashion Rayle (both deceased). He is survived by his wife, Marilyn McGimsey Rayle; his two sons, Geoffrey Leonard Rayle and Revere Garfield Rayle, wife Cherise White Rayle; and his two brothers, Tommy Rayle and Stuart Rayle.

Funeral services for Mr. Rayle will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm in the Chapel of Pendry’s Funeral Home with Rev. Delbert Minner and Rev. Jamie Armstrong officiating. Interment will follow in Blue Ridge Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Caldwell Hospice & Palliative Care, 902 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir, NC 28645

Pendry’s Funeral Home of Lenoir is honored to be serving the Rayle family.

Online condolences may be left at


  • Funeral Service Saturday, March 1, 2014
  • Visitation Thursday, February 27, 2014

James Leonard Rayle Jr.

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May 30, 2014

i just seen this dad jimmy you will be missed

Jemi Broussard

March 28, 2014

Love and Prayers go out to Jim's friends and family, especially, who cared for him and saw him through his final days with such care and compassion. A good man deserved nothing less.--Jemi Broussard and Family, Concord, NH.

March 4, 2014


Revere Rayle

February 22, 2014

We will always remember the many things you have done for us. We love you Dad. Rest your head in the hands of God.

Revere and Cherise Rayle