Leslie Ray Oliver, 75, went home to be with the Lord on March 18, 2020, after a long illness and surrounded by his family.
He was born on November 12, 1944, in Halifax County, the son of the late Leonard Nathan Oliver and Mildred Parrish Oliver.
He was the last of six children, Christine Oliver, 20 months old, Barbara Harris, Helen Vinson, Nancy Powers, and brother Richard Oliver.
He is survived by his wife, Annie Mattie Oliver, married for 46 years; two daughters, Kimberly Thorne, of Nashville, N.C. and Tiffany Francis and husband, Mike, of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; three grandsons, Dusty Sauls (24), Stephen Thorne (15), Zachary Oliver (13); granddaughter Kazlyn Francis (4); and many nieces and nephews.
He was a 1964 graduate of Roanoke Rapids High School.
He joined the Navy in 1964 and served as an Engine mechanic until 1968, during the Vietnam War.
He began employment with what is now Dominion Energy and retired after 33.5 years.
He held multiple positions within the company, earning an Associate Degree in Business Administration in 1984 from Halifax Community College while he was working.
Ray was an overall good person. He had a great smile and a hearty laugh.
He was a great provider for his family. He seemed to have a magnet that drew people to himself and he enjoyed good fellowship.
As a father, he enjoyed seeing many band activities and attending many ball games as a soccer coach and referee.
He was known as “Pawpaw” and “Granddaddy” by his grandchildren.
He learned the joy of hunting and fishing from his father and he also raised several rabbit dogs. His community service began as a member of the Roanoke Rapids Lions Club, North Carolina Power community projects and in 1996, he was named one of 10 Virginia Power’s employee Volunteers of the year in Suffolk, VA.
As a member of Maranatha Baptist Church, he served as Chairman of the Brotherhood and as a Deacon.
He enjoyed singing special songs on Sunday nights. After retirement, Ray worked as a Security Guard at Busch Gardens and also Roanoke Rapids Walmart.
The family would like to express thanks to the nurses and CNA’s on the 5th floor that took care of Ray during his stay at Vidant North Hospital. Special thanks to his caregivers from Hospice, Christie, Dixie, and Tressie.
The family will receive friends Friday from 6:00-9:00 pm at Hockaday Funeral and Cremation Service in Roanoke Rapids and at other times at the family residence.
The funeral service will be held Saturday at 3:00 pm at Hockaday Funeral and Cremation service with Pastor Mike Little officiating. Burial will follow in Cedarwood Cemetery in Roanoke Rapids.
Arrangements are under the care of Hockaday Funeral & Cremation Service.
The public is encouraged to visit www.hockadyfs.com to view the full obituary and sign the online guestbook register.
Due to CDC recommendations for COVID-19, (social distancing and decrease in group gatherings), the funeral home will restrict attendance numbers for all services at this time.
Live stream of the funeral service will be available by visiting https://www.facebook.com/carlislencompany/