Cover photo for Richard Ray's Obituary
1927 Richard 2023

Richard Ray

October 31, 1927 — November 1, 2023

Richard Sidney Ray, born October 31, 1927, passed away November 1, 2023, in Jackson, Alabama, at the home of his daughter, Carolina Alday. He was 96 years old. Richard was born in Flat Rock, North Carolina, to X Ray and Charlotte Berthell Blackwell Ray Stepp. Richard was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Lenoir, Francis, and Rudolph; his sister Betty Ray Fisher; his son Richard Ray, Jr.; and his daughter Rosemary Phelps.

Richard was married to the love of his life, Lucia Ray, for 40 years until her death in 2011. Together, they traveled, owned several businesses, and had numerous adventures. Richard and Lucia had many happy days together, and he missed her every day for the last twelve years of his life.

Richard served in the United States Air Force for twenty years, retiring in 1966. He was a civilian airplane mechanic in Vietnam from 1967 to 1971. Richard had many careers over the span of his life and found joy in everything he did. He was always smiling and laughing, loved to share a cold beer with friends and family, and had a lottery ticket in his pocket. Richard was a gifted mechanic and a talented woodworker. In his later years, he began writing Westerns and found great joy in the characters he brought to life. He spent many days in his last years on a bar stool at the American Legion in Hendersonville, eating hot dogs, spinning tales, and laughing.

Richard is survived by his children, Rebecca Pruitt, Rita Rosier, Russell Ray, and Ritchie Ray; daughters Lisa Gentry, Carolina Alday, and husband Don Alday, and Pat Unger; brothers Nathan Ray and wife Jane Ray of Hendersonville, N.C., and the Rev. Paul Ray of Langtry, Texas. He has 12 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and 3 great, great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be on Saturday, November 4, 2023, from 1-2 p.m. at Lathan Funeral Home in Jackson. Online condolences may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Ray, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation Public

Saturday, November 4, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Lathan Funeral Home, Jackson

1867 Hwy. 43, Jackson, AL 36545

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