Ray grew up in Grifton, NC where he received his formal education in the Lenoir County public school system. He loved basketball and being in the kitchen with his mother while she cooked. He went on to attend North Carolina A&T State University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education – AGGIE PRIDE! On his summer breaks, Ray would work as a short-order cook in Wildwood, New Jersey - he swore nobody knew how to scramble an egg but him.
In 1965 he was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. His first duty station was Fort Campbell, Kentucky where he met (stole her youth) and married the love of his life, Kathryn L. Harris. Shortly thereafter, Ray served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. However, over a promising Army career, Ray was most enthusiastic about his assignment as Professor of Military Science at North Carolina A&T. There he impacted the lives of many students and faculty. A tireless worker and athlete, he played competitive racquetball and won many tournaments throughout his career. He was the over forty champion for several years in 8th US Army Korea. Ray served faithfully for 28 years of active-duty service and was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1993. He continued to serve as a Senior Army Instructor for the JROTC programs in Snow Hill, NC, and Surry County, Virginia. He played an active role in the lives of his cadets and was a devoted mentor to many. Ray again retired at the age of 70.
Ray took pride in everything he did, he took great pride in his cars and his yard was at the top of his list. No matter where he lived, Ray had the nicest yard in the neighborhood. He was a long-time New York Yankees fan and sometimes rooted for the Washington Football team. He loved Corvettes, eating at K&W Cafeteria, sitting in his garage waving at passersby, and buying the latest electronics. He was an avid proponent of higher education and a devoted Aggie alum. In 33 years, he only missed one homecoming. He enjoyed road trips with Kathy and the holidays with his girls, - Christmas was his favorite.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Willie Mae and Jesse Skinner, his brother, Jesse “Tony” Skinner, and his son, Guiffre Hollingsworth.
Ray will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Kathryn Skinner, his two daughters Kelli Franks (John) and Katrina Skinner, his daughter-in-love, Shelly Hollingsworth, two grandchildren, Kiana and Devin Hollingsworth, a loving caregiver, Shirley Strong, and a host of family and friends.
The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021, at Whiting's Funeral Home. A funeral service will military honors will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com
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