William “Bill” Clinton Ray, Jr., 77, died Saturday, July 6, 2019, at the First Health Hospice House in Pinehurst following a brief illness.
Bill was born May 25, 1942 in Praco, Alabama to the late William Clinton Ray, Sr., and Emogene Stansbury Ray. He was preceded in death by his sister, Jimmy Flynn, and his brother, Mike Ray.
Bill began his career in the automotive industry in 1966 in Birmingham, Alabama. Hard work and ambition moved him to Greensboro, North Carolina in 1972 where he became a partner in the Crown Pontiac Organization. In 1983, he moved to Raleigh and opened Eagle Pontiac where he remained until he retired in 1989. After retiring, the love of the car business remained in his blood and led him to a partnership with his long- time friend Bruce Griffin which continues today as Griffin Chrysler and Griffin Toyota of Hamlet, North Carolina.
Bill’s love for his family and desire to be close to them brought he and Jane to Pinehurst in 2007. Bill, affectionately known as “Pop”, by all of his grandchildren was known for his generosity, his loving spirit and his constant presence in their lives. One of his most cherished memories was during 2017 when he and Jane took the grandchildren on a Caribbean cruise. Whether he was attending their sporting events, the first grandchild’s wedding or simply taking them out to dinner, he thoroughly enjoyed every moment with them.
Generosity did not stop with Bill’s family. He shared his life’s good fortune with anyone that was in need while never expecting anything in return. The ability to help others brought joy to his heart. His friendly nature and infectious smile will be missed by many.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Jane Wise Ray; sons, Clint Ray and wife Leigh Ann of Rockingham, Todd Ray and wife Carol of Pinehurst. Grandchildren Ian Ray, Taylor Ledford and husband Patrick, Tanner Ray, Claudia Ray, Chappy Ray, Cameron Ray and Landon Ray. In addition, he is survived by a brother, Tommy Ray of Melissa,Texas and a sister-in-law Becky Thome and husband Bob of Pinehurst and many cherished friends.
A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at First Baptist Church of Southern Pines officiated by Dr. David Helms and Dr. Tom Allen.
In lieu of flowers the family suggest memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, 200 East New York Ave, Southern Pines, NC 28287or First Health Hospice and Palliative Care, 150 Applecross Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.