Kirby Whitaker(1920 - 2013)

Kirby Ray

Brown Whitaker

Asheville - Kirby Ray Brown Whitaker was called to her heavenly home on September 9, 2013 at 4:44 a.m. She had been married to the late Lloyd G. Brown, Sr. of Colorado and Thomas H. Whitaker of Fairview, NC.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence B. and Grace A. Ray of Asheville and Yancey County, NC; and two brothers, Clarence V. Ray and Vincent L. Ray; and by two of her 5 children, Donna Brown Lewis, (Samuel M. Lewis), of Marion, NC and Lee Roy Brown, Sr. (Jeanette R. Brown) of Asheville.

She is survived by three of her children, Naomi Brown Burton (Edward M. Burton) of Asheville, Lloyd G. Brown, Jr. (Diane M. Brown) of Bryson City, and Dean Brown, Sr. (Kelly B. Brown) of Clover SC.

She has 17 grandchildren and numerous great, great great and great, great, great grandchildren.

She was a Red Cross volunteer during WW II and retired from the Oteen VA Hospital. She was a member of Beverly Hills Baptist Church and taught Sunday school for many years. She was a former president of the Buncombe County WMU and a proud member of "The First Families of Buncombe County." She authored two books on the "Ray" families and helped organize the Ray Family reunion in Burnsville, NC. She was also the editor/publisher of the "Ray Family Newsletter" for many years.

A funeral service will be held Thursday, August 12, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Beverly Hills Baptist Church. Rev. Dr. Billy King and Rev. Randy Melton will officiate.

Interment will be in the Ray Family cemetery in Yancey County.

Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road is assisting the Whitaker family.

The memorial register is available at


Funeral Home

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
1401 Patton Avenue Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 252-3535

Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sept. 11, 2013