Ray Gaither STATESVILLE - Ray Kennedy Gaither, 65, of Statesville, passed peacefully on Friday, August 22, 2014, at Iredell Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family and many friends after a courageous two-month battle with cancer. Mr. Gaither was born April 7, 1949, in Iredell County and was the son of the late Charles L. Gaither, Sr. and Elizabeth White Gaither. He was a graduate of the first graduating class of North Iredell High School class of 1967 and N.C. State University where he received his AAS in Agriculture Science. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marines and he served during the Vietnam War. On February 11, 1984, he married Penny Mason Gaither, who survives. He was an active member of Rocky Hill Baptist Church where he was an active member of the choir. Although Ray's primary occupation was raising beef cattle, he was widely known for his skills and practical ideas in almost any area related to farm, church, and community work and projects. Ray's life has been centered on his family, church, and community. He has very quietly worked to help many people over the years (although our family has been very aware of his giving spirit, we have been amazed by the number of supporting stories that visited friends have related to us in recent weeks). In addition to his wife, Penny, of the home, he is survived by two daughters, Lauren Gaither of Statesville and Ashley Gaither (Ethan McKay), of the home. He is also survived by one brother, Charles L. Gaither, Jr. (Carol Van Dyke) of Mills River, NC; one nephew, Charles L. Gaither, III (Anne) of Statesville; along with four nieces, Cheryl Polzin (Michael) of Mooresville, Jessica Wilhelm (Justin) of Statesville, and Jocelyn and Jenna Mason of Hiddenite. He is further survived by his mother-in-law, Willie Mae Johnson (Leroy) of Statesville, and father-in-law, Donald Mason (Pat) of Hiddenite, along with a brother-in-law, Jerry Mason (Jennifer) of Hiddenite, and two sisters-in-law, Vivian Mason and Julia Prevette (Daniel), both of Statesville. Funeral services for Mr. Gaither will be conducted at 4:00 PM Sunday, August 25, 2014, at Rocky Hill Baptist Church with Rev. Henry Cook and Rev. Joe Conley officiating. The family will visit with friends from 2:00 until 4:00 PM at the church. Burial with full military honors will follow in the church cemetery. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.nicholsonfunerals.com/obituaries and memorials can be made to Rocky Hill Baptist Church or the North Iredell High School FFA program. Nicholson Funeral Home is serving the family of Mr. Ray Gaither.
Nicholson Funeral Home
135 Front Street Statesville, NC 28677-5851
Published in Charlotte Observer on Aug. 24, 2014