Cover photo for Eugene Ray, Jr.'s Obituary
Eugene Ray, Jr. Profile Photo

Eugene Ray, Jr.

January 9, 1937 – August 7, 2019


Saturday, August 17, 2019
Lie In State: 9:00 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.
Family Visitation: 11:30 – 1:00 P.M.
Funeral Service: 1:00 P.M.

Fairlane Church of Christ
101 Dow Drive
Shelbyville, Tennessee

Willow Mount Cemetery
Shelbyville, Tennessee

**At the families request, in lieu of flowers, please make a charitable donation to Homeless Shelters of Bedford County and The Boys and Girls Club of Bedford County**

Ray, Eugene, “A Man Who Mattered”, surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 7,2019, laid aside every earthly weight, finishing his race and stepped among that great cloud of witnesses looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith.

As a lifelong native of Bedford County, Shelbyville, TN, born on January 9, 1937, he was educated and served in the community he loved. He was married for 61 years to his high school sweetheart, Olivia Cleveland. His commitment to community and love of people catapulted him to be elected to successfully lead Bedford County as County Mayor for twelve consecutive years. This historical accomplishment was added to the many records he had set as being the first African American to achieve. He served as county commissioner for 28 years, serving as chair while simultaneously serving as County Mayor. Under his mayoral leadership Bedford County received county-wide and state recognition for its prudence as well as its progressive programs focused on the betterment of every citizen. Prior to his mayoral tenure, he was a local Real Estate Broker and retired from the U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center as Supervisor of Water Treatment. He served as President of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce as well as served on numerous boards locally and statewide. He was the recipient of prestigious honors, recognitions and awards including the legacy of the Eugene Ray Little League Baseball Field. His greatest honors lie in the testimonies of so many less fortunate who credit him for making their lives better. He was a member of Bright Temple Church of God in Christ where he served as treasurer for over 40 years.

His transition follows family members: Parents, Eugene Ray, Sr., Robbie Mae Wilson; Grandfather, Will Thompson; Children, Christie Ray, Cedric Ray and Son-in-Law, H. Parks Brame. Celebrating his legacy forever are : Wife, Olivia Ray;Children, Valerie(Charles) Avent, Dr. Kertrina Brame;Grandchildren, Mary Avent, Charles Avent, Jr. ; Brothers; Carey(Anna) Ray, Dr. Bernard (Angela)Ray; Sister, Elaine (Roland)Ray- Radford; Brothers-in-Law, Joe(Evelyn) Cleveland, Donald(Denise) Cleveland; Sisters-in-Law, Joann(Lloyd)Mitchell, Martha Dysart, Era(Jerome)Twyman, Evelyn Thomas and many nephews, nieces, cousins as well as countless devoted friends and supporters.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eugene Ray, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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