Waynesville - Newman Ray Milner, age 92, of Iron Duff Road, passed away on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at Mountain Trace Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
A native of Haywood County, he was the son of the late Joseph Wesley and Mauzelle McElroy Milner. He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Louise Crisp and Kate Farley and three brothers, Eugene, Gerald, and J.H. Milner. Ray was a US Army
veteran and Purple Heart
recipient, having served with the 12th Armored Division of the 714th Tank Battalion during World War II
. He was employed at Champion International for 32 years, retiring in 1985. He was a member of Antioch Baptist Church where he served as a deacon for 39 years, was a choir member, a youth leader, and a Sunday-school teacher. Ray enjoyed farming cattle and tobacco and was an avid Duke basketball fan and a member of the Champion Old Timers. A special known fact about Ray was that he water skied at the age of 77 and also enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. He will be remembered as being a devoted Christian, loving his family and placing them first, and having a heart of gold.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Edith Tate Milner; two daughters, Pat R. Milner of Charlotte and Regina Haynes (Jim) of Waynesville; one son, Steve Milner (Karen) of Greenville, South Carolina; one sister, Arlene Carpenter (Frank) of Maggie Valley; three brothers, Johnnie Milner (Geraldine) of Lake Junaluska, Dennis Milner (Betty Sue) and DeWayne Milner (Mary Lou), all of Canton; five grandchildren, Chad Haynes (Brooke), Nikkie Owens (Joe), Cheley McDowell (Shamgar), and Stephanie and Josh Milner; and ten great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at Antioch Baptist Church with Reverend Steve Taylor and Reverend Matt Pruett officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from Noon until 2:00 p.m. prior to services at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Antioch Baptist Church, 542 Iron Duff Road, Waynesville, NC 28785.
Special thanks to the staff of the Mountain Trace facility for their loving care.
Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements. An on-line memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at www.wellsfuneralhome.com