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Obituaries & Services

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Bryan-Lee Funeral Homes

Frederick Ernest Bridges

March 22, 1938 ~ August 5, 2020

Services will be held: To Be Determined

Bryan-Lee Funeral Homes

Wayne E. Hubbard. Sr.

Nov. 16, 1955 ~ August 3, 2020

Services will be held:

Alice Dudley Marshall

Dec, 31, 1934 ~ Aug, 4, 2020

Services will be held: Aug. 10, 2020

Robert Curtis “Bob” Friese, Sr.

June 23, 1942 ~ July 31, 2020

Services will be held:

Marguerite “Rita” Enid Kinsey

October 30, 1924 ~ July 30, 2020

Services will be held:

Elwood R. Bartley, Jr.

December 20, 1962 ~ July 25, 2020

Services will be held:

Ezraleen Matthews Thaxton

December 15, 1929 ~ July 30, 2020

Services will be held: August 2, 2020

Reapa Morgan McDaniel

October 12, 1932 ~ July 29, 2020

Services will be held: August 5, 2020

James Raymond “Ray” Haygood, Sr.

February 13, 1932 ~ July 19, 2020

James Raymond “Ray” Haygood, Sr., 88, passed away on July 19, 2020, at the Magnolia Glen assisted living facility in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Ray was born on February 13, 1932, in Glenside, Pennsylvania to Joan Rucker Haygood and Robert Crisler Haygood. He married Rebecca Ann Marshall at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Gastonia. Preceding her death, they were happily married for over 60 years. He is survived by his three sons, James R. (Jackie), Daniel M. (Monica Hill), and David W. (Lynn) Haygood; two grandchildren, Margaret Ann “Maggie” and David Withers “Wit” Haygood, Jr.; and his sister, Doris H. Hancock of Gastonia and brother, Keith Haygood of DeLand, Florida. He was preceded in death by his brother Robert C. Haygood of Gastonia.
In 1938, the family moved to Gastonia, where Ray grew up and built a legacy of family and friends. Along the way, he built lasting friendships that were sources of pride to him for his entire life.
His first job, from 7th grade to 12th grade, was at the Gastonia Newsstand located on N. South Street by the railroad. He spoke often and fondly of working at the newsstand. After graduating from Gastonia High School in 1951, Ray took his first “real” job at Southern Bell. Two years later, he was drafted into the Army, undergoing basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, a city he said he would never return to. He served during the Korean War as a lineman for almost two years. He once wrote: “On my last Thursday at Chemical Biological Radiological School, the armistice was signed. It was quite a relief because I pondered and worried about shooting at someone and being shot at.” He also said that Korea was a “very cold place… mind-numbing cold.”
Ray was honorably discharged late in 1954. He explained: “I came home from Korea, and the first place I went to was Mom’s house on Fourth Street. I came home unannounced to surprise everyone, but everyone was gone. No welcoming committee for me!” His love of country and respect for those who serve was a constant throughout his life.
After Korea, he enrolled at Belmont Abbey College under the G.I. Bill. He worked his way through college and graduated with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. While a college student, he worked at the Valet Men’s Shop as a salesman. He valued the quality of the education he received from Belmont Abbey: “I graduated in 1959 after three years and two summers of study. I was able to prove to myself that even though I was a sorry high school student, I was capable of doing what I needed to do, if I applied myself.”
In 1956, he achieved what many consider to be his greatest accomplishment and that was his marriage to Rebecca: “Your Mom dated me for the first time in 1950, but I think I fell in love with her when I was about 8 or 9 years old. She lived next door to my friend Dorman Fowler on Oakland Street.”
Ray’s professional life embodied his approach to serving others and helping people reach their full potential. He began his career with Allstate Insurance in 1960 as an adjuster in Cleveland County. He was in insurance for more than 50 years, resulting in lifelong friendships and significant contributions in Charlotte, Greensboro, a return to Columbia, and lastly Raleigh. He was awarded the prestigious Allstate Chairman’s Award in 1990. Looking back, his professional life was defined by his consistently strong work ethic, a trait he passed on to his family and others around him.
After his retirement from Allstate in 1995, Ray continued to work part time as an independent adjuster for multiple companies seeking his representation in mediations until 2018. Throughout his life, Ray supported religious, civic, and other causes by volunteering his time, working with Junior Achievement, Shriners, United Way and American Red Cross.
Ray had a passion for NASCAR and followed it his entire life. He wrote, “I saw my first 500-mile race at Daytona Beach in 1951, half of which was run on the beach and half on Highway A1A. The other interesting part of my Daytona trip was that the Pettys were in the same motel as my group.” He attended the 1996 Daytona 500 as a retirement gift. The last racing event he attended was the 1999 Winston Cup qualifying in Rockingham, NC.
Ray loved his wife, children and grandchildren. He attended St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh and later the Church of the Nativity. Many of Ray’s and Rebecca’s friends came from relationships formed in their church life. In addition to the friendships, their faith was an enduring source of comfort and inspiration throughout their lives.
A memorial service will be conducted 1:00 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 831 Wake Forest Rd., Raleigh.
A committal service will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Gastonia at a later date.
In the spirit of Ray’s lifelong interest in helping others, the family requests that memorials be made to The Salvation Army of Wake County.
Online condolences may be made to www.bryan-leefuneralhome.com



July 28, 2020

1:00 pm

Bryan-Lee Funeral Home Chapel
831 Wake Forest Road Raleigh, NC 27604

Under Executive Order, those planning to attend are respectfully requested to wear a face mask or covering.


  1. Jay Brown

    Ray was a much-loved participant in the Prayer Team, Men’s Bible Study Group and overall ministry of our church. He never stopped learning, growing and serving, and he was an inspiration to us all.
    Jay Brown, Church at Six Forks (formerly Windborne United Methodist Church)

  2. gerald stone

    Ray haygood was the most inspiring individual I met in my life. He hired me on July 23, 1979. He believed in me from that day and never stopped supporting me and promoted me to a management position which I held for twenty nine plus years. I don’t know what my career life would’ve been without ray. But I know it was great because of him. I love ray and he is a great human being who believed in alot of people and changed their lives forever. I’m honored to have worked with him and I cherish our fourth one years of friendship. To his sons you are blessed to have the wonderful father you had. My prayers to you and your love ones. Your father’s legacy and ki dress will always be appreciated and cherished.

  3. Joann

    Your father was a true delight! He lives on in you!
    God bless you all

    Joann and Tim

  4. Lidana Ramirez

    I have never met a person with such a good heart before.

  5. Rachel Miller

    A beautiful reflection of a life well lived and love shared. Sending the sincerest thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Thank you to Ray & Becky for all the love and kindness they’ve shown me and my family over the years.

  6. Charles M. Davis

    I knew Ray for many years. I mediated many cases when he was representing Allstate. He was always fair to the other party and tried to do the right thing as far as the other party was concerned. He will be missed.

  7. Ann Buck Jones

    Ray and Becky were the first people that greeted us at St. Timothy’s and remained close friends throughout those years. Very wonderful people.

  8. Kevin & Liz Bodiford

    If one had but a single word to sum up the legacy of Ray Haygood, perhaps it would be “loved.” Ray was a faithful servant leader, committed to leaving the world better than he found it. And he was an uncompromising friend. May God grant his grace for Ray’s peaceful repose and for the comfort of his family.

  9. Allen Bosworth

    Dan, and family:
    Your father and mother were always so gracious and loving to me. A great man with great stories. What an amazing and appropriate tribute this is. My prayers and blessings are with all of you. Allen

  10. Vanessa Bravo

    Dear Dan,

    I am very sorry for your loss. My condolences.

    I never got to meet your father, but he had to possess very good qualities to raise a son as decent, polite and smart as you are. I hope God, your family and your friends will accompany and support you in this process.

    I was reading his obituary: I love that his first job was at a newsstand! Also, it seems he was a caring, interesting man, who really loved his children and his wife. God bless him.

    Warm regards,


  11. Liz Nulton

    We met Mr. and Mrs. Haygood at St.Timothys church in Raleigh. They were such kind and generous people. They seemed to always be smiling or laughing. They were also very encouraging to others.
    I remember bidding fiercely with Mr. Haygood for a huge basket of family games at a fund- raising auction at church. After winning the basket, he came over to me to explain he had to win the basket for his grandkids. It was so such a sweet and genuine expression of how much he loved his family.

  12. Mary Gordon

    I’ll never forget Ray giving my daughters each a $2 bill. It’s still one of their most prized possessions. Sorry for your loss!

    Mary Gordon, Church at Six Forks (formerly Windborne UMC)

  13. Courtney DiFruscio, Church at Six Forks (formerly Windborne UMC)

    So blessed to have been in the light that was the blessing of Ray — he always had kind words and encouragement when we spoke, willing to share wisdom and a smile. With much love comes much grief when they are gone — may the good memories of love and laughter be a comfort during the grief.

  14. Kerri Habben

    I knew Ray during my time at Windborne Methodist Church. He always made me feel welcome with his kind manner and warm smile. My thoughts and healing hopes are with you. May an abundance of precious memories surround and comfort all of you.

  15. Jackie Houser

    They don’t make men like Ray Haygood anymore. How blessed I was to know him for more than 30 years. I always looked forward to working with him because I knew we would do our best, we would have a good time, and I would learn something new. What a blessing he was and will continue to be in the hearts he loved and the lives he touched. Prayers to Jim and the family during the season.

  16. Van & Gigi Giersch

    We’re so sorry for your loss, David, but we’re also grateful we had the opportunity to know him even a little. Thanks be to God for his wonderful life!

  17. Chuck Darsie

    I knew Ray for many years while practicing law. He was always on the “other side” but fair and gracious. I never remember any contentious talk or actions. Saw him as a friend.

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