Ray Halford Womble Sr., 90
Ray Halford Womble Sr., age 90, of Lillington, N.C., left for his prepared place in glory on the morning of June 12, 2018. Ray was born on Sept. 16, 1927, to John Early and Iola Wilbourn Womble. He was the youngest in a family of nine children. After graduating from Lillington High School, he briefly attended Wake Forest University before joining the United States Navy near the end of World War II. Sometimes he joked that the Japanese surrendered shortly after he got involved! He also served during the Korean Conflict, then returned home and attended Louisburg College before enrolling at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Soon after graduation, he married — as he described her — “the prettiest girl he had ever seen,” Sara Catherine Turlington, and they began their journey together which has continued for 67 years.
In 1952, Ray joined his brothers, Robert and Carl, along with their Dad, Mr. Early Womble, in the family business, J.E. Womble and Sons. Ray had a strong work ethic, a quality instilled in him from an early age and he endeavored to provide the highest levels of customer service, a tradition that continues today. He was always punctual, and lived by the standard that if you were “on time” you were late! He believed in treating people the way you would want to be treated and if he told you something, you could count on it. He served his community well and was an active participant in working for the greater good and the betterment of people, community and society as a whole.
Ray had a special God-given gift of seeing the best in people while overlooking weaknesses or faults. Because of this gift he inspired many to pursue worthy endeavors. Whether it was a sports function, an academic achievement or just a need for sound moral support, you could count on Ray to be your most loyal fan.
God’s Word teaches us about the attributes of our loving Heavenly Father. He is with us and for us, His motive is always love and protection, He wants us to succeed, He picks us up and binds up our wounds, He wants the best for us and He wants us to talk to Him so He can share His wisdom and counsel. Ray Womble followed in the footsteps of his Heavenly Father because he represented these same qualities to his family and to many others who were the beneficiaries of his generous helping nature. What a wonderful blessing it has been to have his encouragement through the years. His funny, colorful stories will be missed as well as his entertaining songs, uplifting personality, and his unique ability to make everyone feel most special. The family is grateful to many caring friends and especially for the devoted and loving caregivers who have been a continual help: Charles and Gloria Price, Joyce Kelly, Timmy Wheeler, Sue Bethea and Chris Hendges.
A celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at the Lillington Baptist Church with the Rev. Daniel Selman officiating. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2:45 p.m., prior to the service, in the church fellowship hall.
Ray is survived by his wife, Sara Turlington Womble; and his four children: Donna Anne Womble Gill (Guy) of Atlanta, Ray Halford Womble Jr., (Jan) of Lillington, Fred Michael Womble (Lisa) of Elizabeth City, and Lisa Catherine Womble Adcock (Will) of Lillington. Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Jennifer Gill Ray (David), Ray Halford Womble (Tripp) III, Brittany Taylor Womble, Justin Douglas Gill (Jen), Catherine Gill Popps (Stephen), Lesley Frances Womble, Andrew Michael Womble, Rebecca Hipp Howerton (Miller), and William Gregory Hipp Jr. In addition, there are six great-grandchildren: Olivia and Henry Ray, Georgia Popps, Jackson Gill, Ellison Howerton, Mason Ramos and Ray’s dog, Molly, who has been his loyal, devoted and constant companion.
Memorials may be made to the Robert and Ray Womble Endowment Scholarship, Central Carolina Community College Foundation, 1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford, NC 27330; or to the Lillington Baptist Church, P.O. Box 670, Lillington, NC 27546
J.E. Womble’s and all affiliated stores will be closed Saturday, June 16, and will re-open Monday, June 17.
Funeral arrangements by O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home & Crematory, Lillington. Online condolences at www.oppfh.com.