Ray Benjamin “Ben” Rayford, 93, met his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, surrounded by the love of his family. He was born August 18, 1923, the son of Hubert and Blanche Ingram Rayford. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by the love of his life for 53 years, Dorothy Brown Rayford; 3 brothers, and 1 sister.
Surviving are his daughters, Jane Rayford Beaman and husband, Gerald of Snow Hill, and Susan Rayford Griffis, and husband, Danny of Farmville. He was “Boompa” to his grandchildren, Dionne Seale and husband, Roger, Daniel Griffis and wife, Tiffany, Adam Beaman and wife, Casey, Amy Perry and husband, Chris, and Wes Beaman and wife, Dee; great-grandchildren Lauren and Megan Seale, Addison and Broughton Beaman, Hayden and Emily Perry, Bickett, Foster and Payne Griffis, Tanner and Tison Beaman.
Born in Erwin, North Carolina, Ben resided in Dunn and Newton Grove before coming to Snow Hill. He was a First Sergeant in the US Army during World War II and attended NC State University. Following college, he moved to Snow Hill where he was manager of the Greenville Production Credit Association and later the manager of Home Federal Savings and Loan in Snow Hill; he served in various positions with that firm until his retirement.
Ben served the Town of Snow Hill as Town Clerk for 22 years, Town Commissioner for 16 years, and Mayor for 10 years; totaling 48 years of civic service to the Town of Snow Hill and its citizens. He was a member of the Greene County Development Commission and the Snow Hill Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. As Scout Master of Troop 74, he mentored a number of Eagle Scouts, and also received the James E. Wese Fellow Award. A devout member of Snow Hill Presbyterian Church, he had served as Sunday School teacher, pianist, Deacon, Elder, Clerk of the Session, and Lay Pastor on many occasions. He volunteered at Eastern Correctional Institution, where he taught business classes and played the piano for worship services. Until recently, he also served on the Greene County Housing Authority, and as an instructor and night supervisor at Lenoir Community College Snow Hill Campus for many years. He was recognized for his faithful Christian service to the Greene County Interfaith with the Lydia Award, and was a charter member of their Board of Directors. The Greene County Chamber of Commerce honored him with the Hero Award for his long-time dedication and community service to the town and county.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 2 PM Sunday, July 30th, at the Farmville Presbyterian Church, 4138 Grimmersburg Street, Farmville. The family will receive friends and visitors following in the Family Life Center and other times at the residence, 409 Greenridge Road, Snow Hill.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Snow Hill Presbyterian Church, Ben Rayford Scholarship Fund, c/o Bobby Glossip, 201 Hines Street, Snow Hill, NC 28580, or to Greene County Interfaith, PO Box 1041, Snow Hill, NC 28580.
The family would like to thank Pruitt Home Health and Hospice of Farmville for their compassionate and dedicated service; with special loving thanks to Patricia, Val, Jean-Marie, and Julie, who lovingly cared for him in the past few months.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.taylor-tyson.com
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Linda Artis lit a candle for R. Ben Rayford
Linda Artis lit a candle on Aug 8 2017 11:38:17 PM
My heart breaks. My tears flow. My soul aches. But I wouldn't have him return to this old world for anything. He is healthy, happy with the love of his life, and sharing his jokes and one-liners with all! Such a sincere & loving man of whom I was blessed to have known! Ms. Jane & Ms. Susan thank you for sharing your daddy with so many. He will surely be missed
Submitted by Randy & Tracey Morris on Aug 2 2017 02:25:12 PM
Known Ben for a long time. A good friend. My deepest sympathies
Submitted by Bruce Williams on Jul 31 2017 01:35:16 PM
Susan, Jane and family
We were so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. He was such a unique person and always a pleasure to be around - a true southern gentleman!
Sending our sympathy and prayers. All your wonderful memories will surely become your true treasures.
Larry & Lois Barrow
Submitted by Larry & Lois Barrow on Jul 30 2017 09:39:37 AM
Bob Nimmo,Sr lit a candle for R. Ben Rayford
Bob Nimmo,Sr lit a candle on Jul 30 2017 09:35:41 AM
Mr. Ben was one of the finest men we have had the pleasure of knowing. His humor and big heart blessed us all. He will be missed. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Submitted by Don and Lynn Davenport on Jul 30 2017 08:19:15 AM
Dianne and Carroll Johnson lit a candle for R. Ben Rayford
Dianne and Carroll Johnson lit a candle on Jul 29 2017 06:17:24 PM
Just read the obituary of one of my favorite people. Ben Rayford was indeed an honorable and delightful man. I always enjoyed his company and always came away smiling. I must admit however, that I was envious that he always could get -spontaneously, the last laugh. Not just something silly, but an intelligent laughing gem. About two years ago, after the doctors had told Ben he was living with about one-half of his heart, he lifted his wine glass at a social event and declared " I'm going to drink this half heartedly". That line should be in the Ben Rayford Hall of Fame of 'One Liners"
To Jane and Susan: It was a pleasure to have known both of you and your parents. I know you respected and loved your father. I also know he loved both of you and supported you in all your endeavors. May God be with you during this difficult time.
My apology for not being able to attend the funeral. I will be out of town from a commitment that Is nearly impossible to change. My heart and spirit will be with you along with fond memories of your dad.
I hope our paths will soon cross and I can get to see you both and give you a big hug.
Submitted by Kenneth Ginn on Jul 29 2017 01:19:05 PM
Robert & Jackie Hughes lit a candle for R. Ben Rayford
Robert & Jackie Hughes lit a candle on Jul 29 2017 03:39:18 AM
Mr. Ben will be remembered as a great person to talk to.He always would go out of his way to speak to you wherever he saw you.Miss seeing him at the Credit Union and around town. Prays for family.
Submitted by Dianne O'Neal on Jul 28 2017 11:13:30 PM
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