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Wings of Love
Ray Buren GuthrieDecember 11, 1943 ~ October 18, 2017 (age 73)
Mr. Ray Buren Guthrie (73), husband of Frances Moody Guthrie for 50 years, Father of Reid Buren Guthrie, Rachel Guthrie Priestley, and Grandfather of seven died peacefully on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.
Ray was the oldest of four sons born to R.B. and Rachel Brothers Guthrie in Winston-Salem, NC. He was followed over the next ten years by three brothers: Linwood, Robert, and Stuart Guthrie. He is predeceased by his parents and brother Robert Guthrie.
Ray spent his early years and youth in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Sanford. Graduating from Needham Broughton High School in 1962. He attended NC State University and graduated from Campbell University in 1966 where he earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration. Ray spent 37 years working for the Internal Revenue Service.
Ray and Fran lived in Greenville, Winston-Salem and Kernersville, NC before moving to Woodbridge, VA where he worked in the IRS National Office in Washington, DC. He mainly worked on Computer Automation Projects and was a Senior Analyst with the Y-2K Project. He retired from the Federal Government in Washington, DC in 2004.
Ray loved photography, reading, cooking, watching college and professional sports along with riding his motorcycle in retirement. Many folks have heard his story-telling connecting life events and experiences over his lifetime.
Ray was a family man who adored his children, grandchildren and spent as much time with them as possible. When Reid and Rachel were growing up, he spent most of his time with young people as a Scout Leader and Youth Leader at churches in North Carolina and Virginia. Also, he taught Senior High Sunday School in Virginia. Ray is affectionately remembered for his "calm and supportive presence".
Ray's greatest joy came from being a grandparent. Reid and his wife Kathy, have four children: Maya, Jax, Violet and Francesca of the home. Rachel and her husband Scott, have three children: Tiffany Priestley of Hawaii, Jack and Eillie (Racel Grace) of the home. Ray loved planning outings with the grandchildren from road trips, local attractions, and dinning out. Their antics and sayings always brought laughter and sometimes tears depending on how funny they were. They were his life and he loved each one unconditionally.
Ray gave valuable service to both the Methodist and Moravian Churches during his lifetime. He served in many capacities of servant leadership. In the Methodist Church in Virginia, he was active in Chrysalis for youth and The Walk to Emmaus for adults. He spent ten years in Kairos Prison Ministry, along with several years serving shut-ins at Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church in Alexandria, Virginia. These final two ministries were the highlights of his service and times of great personal and spiritual growth. He often retorted, "It's the parable of the sower, not the reaper." He would explain, "We sow but we may not get to see the harvest."
In his final months battling leukemia, Ray surprised and amazed all of those around him with his positive, upbeat attitude. He often quoted the song, "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow." It became his mantra. Shortly after he returned home under hospice care, Ray was surprised by a serenade of about 50 friends of all ages from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. They were a cross section of all of those he knew and loved. They came to his home and sang, being sure to end with "Because He Lives".
The care of UNC Hospice has been second-to-none! We are especially grateful to Dr. John Corey, his personal physician, to Jackie Glasser, his Hospice Nurse and friend who oversaw his treatment, and to the personal aides who cared for him. We have been supported generously by family, friends and our church family and we are forever grateful.
Fran always teased Ray that his service should end with James Taylor's "Shower the People You Love with Love". That is what Ray did and what he would wish for each of you.
A Service of Remembrance will be held at Pittsboro United Methodist Church, 71 West Main Street, Pittsboro, NC. The service will begin on Saturday October 28, 2017 at 2:00pm. Rev. Sara Beth Pannell will be presiding. The service will be followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall of the church.
In lieu of flowers, Ray requests that gifts be directed to Pittsboro United Methodist Church, Building Campaign, PO Box 716, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or to UNC Hospice PO Box 1077, Pittsboro, NC 27312.
Joyce-Brady Chapel of Bennett, North Carolina is honored to serve the Guthrie family. Condolences may be offered online at www.joycebradychapel.com