Donald Rachels

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ARARAT, Va. — Mr. Donald Ray Rachels, 76, of Ararat, passed away Saturday, March 1, 2014, at Forsyth Medical Center. Mr. Rachels was born in Surry County on Nov. 22, 1937, to Earl Franklin and Celia Key Rachels. He proudly served our country in the United States Air Force and Navy and was a former member of VFW Post 2019. He was a member of Union Primitive Baptist Church. Mr. Rachels also owned and operated Rachels Heating and Air. He enjoyed life to the fullest exploring many daring adventures from flying planes to riding Harley's and was known as a wonderfully friendly person who never met a stranger. Mr. Rachels was also a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Surviving are his devoted wife, Brenda Harrell Rachels; daughters and sons-in-law, Kristi and Roger Horton of Mount Airy, Lisa and Eddie Snody of Westfield, Jane and Lance Knight of Mount Airy, Lisa and Mark Billings of Mount Airy and Beverly and Galen Shields of Virginia Beach, Va.; sons and daughters-in-law, Donald Mark Rachels of Sparta, Wayne and Janet Marshall of Mount Airy and Gary and Jennifer Marshall of Ararat, Va.; 19 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; his mother-in-law, Bertha Harrell; a special brother-in-law, the Rev. Porter Harrell; and special furry friends, Ruby Doobie and Spot. In addition to his parents, Mr. Rachels was preceded in death by a sister, Vivian Lowe. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at Moody Funeral Home Chapel by the Rev. Avery Branch. Burial will follow in Harrell Family Cemetery with military honors by VFW Memorial Honor Guard Mount Airy Post 2019 and Pilot Mountain Post 9436. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at

Funeral Home
Moody Funeral Home
714 West Main Street
Sylva, NC 28779
(828) 586-4014
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Published in Mount Airy Newspapers from Mar. 2 to Mar. 3, 2014
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