09/12/04 — RAY EARLY JR.

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LAGRANGE -- Ray Harmon Early Jr., 56, of 4000 Drew Farmer Road, died Thursday at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston.

The funeral will be held today at 3 p.m. at Lenoir County Performing Arts Center at Kinston High School. The Rev. Rick Vernon will officiate. Burial will be in Pinelawn Memorial Park.

Mr. Early served with the North Carolina Highway Patrol from 1971 until 1997, retiring as a line sergeant. For the past six years he had worked with the Lenoir County Sheriff's Department. Prior to joining the Highway Patrol, he served with the Greenville Police Department.

He was president of the Lenoir-Greene-Jones Law Enforcement Association and was a certified criminal justice instructor.

Mr. Early was a member of Southwood Memorial Christian Church, where he was serving as Chairman of the Board, was a former deacon, was an elder and Sunday school teacher and was chairman of the New Construction Committee.

He was a 33rd-Degree Mason and was past Master and was serving as secretary for Richard Caswell Masonic Lodge #705. He was Master of 32nd Degree Team of Scottish Rite Temple, Valley of New Bern, and was a member of The Advisory Council of Scottish Rite.

Mr. Early was a member of the Lenoir County Tuesday Morning Rotary Club and served on the Safe Kids Coalition Board. An Eagle Scout and past Scoutmaster, he was very involved with Boy Scouts of America and was serving as Scout Executive for Southwood Memorial Christian Church.

His survivors include his wife of 21 years, Diane Bryan Early; one daughter, Ginger Taylor, and her husband, Ron, of Kinston; one son, Tray Early of Kinston; one stepson, Brad Griffin, and his wife, Kathryn, of LaGrange; one granddaughter, Raychel Elizabeth Taylor; his mother, Phyllis Early of Ahoskie; one brother, Bill Early of Aulander; and the family pet, Abby.

He was preceded in death by his father, Ray Harmon Early Sr.

The family received friends Saturday from 4 until 7 p.m. at Southwood Memorial Christian Church, and at other times at the residence.

Memorial donations may be made to Southwood Memorial Christian Church Parking Lot Fund, 1027 Highway 58 South, Kinston, NC 28501.

Arrangements are with Rouse Funeral Home, LaGrange.


Published in Obituaries on September 12, 2004 10:19 AM