Ray Stafford Carter Jr.

Ray Stafford Carter Jr., Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)

August 27, 1930 – August 20, 2011

Ray Stafford Carter Jr., 80, of Pearisburg, passed away Saturday, August 20, 2011, in Pearisburg, after a lengthy illness. Born in Ararat, Va. August 27, 1930, he was the son of Eva Gates Carter and Ray Stafford Carter Sr.

Ray graduated from Radford High School in 1947 and attended the College of William and Mary and later Milligan College in Tennessee. His sense of adventure and love for country outweighed academic ambitions and he entered the United States Air Force in 1950. During his 22 year career in the USAF, Ray served as a pilot during conflict and peacetime including the Korean War, The Cold War, and the Vietnam War. His service took him and his family all over the world including an assignment with the National Air Command in Washington, D.C., during the Johnson Administration. In recognition of his military service, the USAF awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross. Ray rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel and retired from the USAF in 1972. He settled in Pearisburg and studied electronics at New River Community College, became a flight instructor in Bluefield, and finally a private pilot for W & H Contracting Company and Asphalt industries in Bluefield. He was a member of the Pearisburg Presbyterian Church. As an avid golfer, Ray was a long-time member of the Giles Country Club.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Johnston Carter, formerly of Bluefield, Va.; one son, Ken Carter, and daughter-in-law, Barbara, of Laurens, S.C.; a daughter, Audrey Carter and son-in-law, James Texeira, of Greer, S.C.; a sister, Ann Carter, of Charlotte, N.C.; a grandson, Shawn Carter, of Indialantic, Fla., and wife, Bree Carter; a granddaughter, Tara McKinstry, of Raleigh, N.C., and husband, Douglas; great-grandchildren, Violet Banan and Donegan; a brother-in-law, Buddy Johnston, of Radford, Va., and Janet Johnston; a niece, Christy Jensen, of Williamsburg, Va., and Skip Jensen; a nephew, Scott Johnston, of Alexandria, Va.; life-long friends, Bob and Bronte Foster, of Radford, Va.; and his “girls,” Little Bit and Misty.

A Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, at 2 p.m. at Pearisburg Presbyterian Church. The family will receive visitors at 1 p.m. at the church. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New River Valley Red Cross at 616-A, Radford, VA 24141, or the Pearisburg Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund. Givens Funeral Home in Pearisburg is serving the family. Published in Roanoke Times on August 22, 2011

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