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Wayland Melton Ray

November 28, 1928 ~ August 2, 2019 (age 90)

Watson-North Funeral Home is honored to be of service and ministry to the family of Mr. Wayland Melton Ray, age 90 of Winchester.  Mr. Ray was a 1946 graduate of Franklin County High School and made his home in Franklin County all his life.  Following his education, he went to work at Shaw then Wilton Industries.  He later worked at Genesco, spending 30 years as a leather cutter.  After the Genesco plant closed he went to work at AEDC as a shopkeeper, retiring in 1996.  Mr. Ray was a man of many interests.  He loved puzzles and kept a table in his living room to work on them.  He loved UT and the Boston Red Sox and attended a Red Sox game with his granddaughter.  As a landlord and owner of many properties, he spent much of his spare time painting his rental homes, keeping them in the best of shape for his tenants.  A number of young couples attribute owning their first home to Mr. Ray, as he allowed some of his tenants to “rent to own”.   He was a charter member of the Oaklawn Baptist Church in Winchester. As a strong supporter of the church he attended services at every opportunity until his health began to fail a few weeks ago after a fall.  A favorite memory of his grandkids is the stories he often told about days gone by and “the good old days”.  Above all, Mr. Ray will be remembered as a God-fearing Christian who loved our country devoutly. Even though he was not permitted to serve in the armed forces he remained an American patriot and a supporter of our military troops stationed on American soil as well as abroad.  Wayland is preceded in death by his mother, Vickey Hatchett Ray and his father, Garland Melvin Ray; infant siblings, Sarah and James Ray; granddaughter, Jennifer Perry.  He leaves to mourn his passing and cherish his memory, his dear wife of 68 years, Wilma Berryhill Ray;  daughter, Rita (Larry) Perry of Winchester; son, Richard (Joyce) Ray of Winchester; grandchildren, Renae (Donald) Sharpe of Decherd and Adam (Kerri) Ray of Tampa, FL; great-grandchildren, Madeline and Mallory Cunningham, Camryn, John Carter and Spencer Ray.  The Ray family will receive friends at Watson-North Funeral Home Monday August 5, 2019 between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m.  The funeral ceremony will be conducted from the Roy B. Watson Chapel of Watson-North Funeral Home Tuesday August 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Ray Gardner and Rev. Johnny Mayes officiating.  Interment will follow at Mt. Garner Cemetery in Decherd.  Serving as pallbearers will be Gary Cunningham, Jay Penny, Greg Garner, Lloyd smith, Ken “Buck” Tucker and Ben Watson.  Online condolences may be sent to      

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