Ray Houston


Rev. William Ray Houston, age 75, of Cullowhee, N.C., passed away on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

He was born on Sept. 17, 1945, in Jackson County, to the late Fred Lawson Sr. and Eleanora Nora Hooper Houston.

Ray graduated from Cullowhee High School and later attended Fruitland Baptist Bible College. Going to Brazil on a mission trip was a highlight of his ministry. Ray preached and sang at many churches throughout his life. One of his weekly highlights was visiting residents at the nursing homes in the area, where he would sing to them about the Jesus that he loved with all his heart. This strong, brave man’s entire life was dedicated to preaching and singing gospel songs. Through this he was an inspiration to others and touched the lives of many people. His heart belonged to children, and he always tried his best to make friends with them all.

In his free time, Ray was an avid fan of the Carolina basketball and Braves baseball teams. He also enjoyed watching and feeding the hummingbirds out his kitchen window. The birds brought him so much joy that he wanted his house decorated with hummingbird decor. He also looked forward to his doctor visits in Asheville because they always kept the promise of eating at Cracker Barrel, his favorite restaurant.

This kind, gentle man will be much missed. Many people have made the remark that if we all lived our lives in the fashion of Ray, the world would be a much sweeter place.

He will be dearly missed by his loving siblings, Fred Jr. (Alva), Shirley Henry (Jake), Joy Queen (Mike); nieces and nephews, Wallace and Keith Henry, Curtis and Kevin Queen, Lib Broom, Mike Taylor, Michelle Shook; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Emma Lou Shook, Lillian Ray, Ruth Houston; nephew, Clinton Taylor; and niece, Olsa Queen.

The family received friends from 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2021, at Promise Land Baptist Church, 8359 Highway 107, Cullowhee, N.C., with a funeral service at 3:30 p.m. Revs. Larry Bryson, Mike Farmer and Steve Webb officiated.

Interment followed at Hooper Cemetery, Caney Fork Road, Cullowhee.

Donations can be made in Ray’s memory to the Hooper Cemetery Fund, c/o Dovie Mae Stephens, 1604 Moses Creek Road, Cullowhee, NC 28723. Please make checks payable to Hooper Cemetery Fund.