Harry Edwin Ray

Published 3:12 pm Friday, April 22, 2011

Harry Edwin Ray


Harry Edwin Ray, 67, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Shelby on Monday, April 18. He was born August 29, 1943, in Troy.

Harry was preceded in death by his mother and father, Gwendolyn Richburg Ray and Henry Luther Ray. He was the beloved husband of Annette, the proud father of Michelle Smith and the cherished Papa of Veronica and Isabelle Smith. He is also survived by his brother, Larry, and his wife, Pam, and sister-in-law, Michele Palmer.

In 1961, Harry graduated from Charles Henderson High School in Troy. He was a star athlete in track and field, which earned him a scholarship to attend the University of Missouri. He was the Alabama State mile champion in 1961.

After high school, Harry attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he held the track record for the mile. He graduated in 1966 with a degree in physical education. He continued to support the track and field program as a member of the alumni association.

After college, he was drafted by the U.S. Army, where he served proudly as a field artillery officer. He was deployed to Babenhausen, Germany. His daughter was born on his birthday in Frankfort, Germany during his deployment. He continued to support our troops and was a member of the American Legion.

Harry began playing guitar with his father at a very young age. He was a gifted musician, playing several instruments, but mostly played electric guitar. He was a member of several bands throughout the years, including Cindy and the Cotton Kings. He was a member of the Magic City Blues Society and went out to support local bands.

Harry’s career was in the construction industry. He began as a carpenter and would become a construction supervisor. He came to Alabama to build Inverness Country Club and later worked for a civil engineer doing public works projects. He retired from Tucker Engineering in 2005.

Hobbies included fishing and dancing. He was an avid fisherman and often made trips to lakes in Georgia and Florida. He collected guns and spent many hours target shooting. He was a member of the National Rifle Association. He loved to dance. He was a member of the Magic City Boppers and attended dances here in Birmingham as well as Columbus, Ga. and Panama City, Fla. He had motorcycles when he was younger and raced motocross. He was always generous of his time and talents. Harry leaves behind a host of friends that will miss him dearly.

A memorial service celebrating Harry’s life is set for 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 26, 2011, at Bolton Funeral Home Chapel in Columbiana.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Memorial Fund/Tiger Scholarship Fund, Track Program, 1 Champion Drive, Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65211 (Missouri.edu) or to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, 386 Park Avenue South, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016 (Ccfa.org).

Please sign online condolences at Boltonfuneralhome.com. Bolton Funeral Home directing.