Ray Eugene Flowers
CAYCE, SC – Funeral services for Ray Eugene Flowers, 80, will be held at 1:00 PM Monday, January 7, 2013 at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, West Columbia Chapel with interment in Southland Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the chapel one hour prior to the service. The service will be performed by the Rev. Dennis Banks of First Baptist Church of Columbia.
Ray E. Flowers passed away after a long and brave battle with Parkinson's disease, on Thursday, January 3, 2013 to be with his maker. He was born in Florence, SC on December 26, 1932. He was the son of the late Lawrence Eugene and Eva Mae Caston Flowers.
He attended Circle Grammar School and graduated in 1951 from St. John's High School in Darlington, SC, where he lettered in football, track, shot and discus. Ray placed sixth in shot, Class A, in State Finals and played tackle on Mr. Boggs' undefeated football team in 1947. He was also active in the Key Club and the Boy Scouts. His Boy Scout Troops #3 and #503, lead by Scout Master Matthew Belissary, placed perfect scores and near-perfect scores in their camporee. Ray was squad leader of the Rattlesnake Squad along with James Belissary and Harold Timmons and others. He was an active member of First Baptist Church of Darlington, SC until 1951.
Ray was a medic with the 51st Infantry, SC National Guard from 1949-1953. He then enlisted in the US Army in 1953 and served with the Army Security Agency FS8611 4th Platoon in Baumholder, Germany until 1956. He was awarded the National Defense Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Good Conduct Medal and Sharp Shooter Medal.
Ray returned from active duty and resumed his education at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC and graduated in 1958 with a BS in Education. He served as resident manager of the University of South Carolina Baptist Student Union. After graduation, he went to work for Western Union and retired after 28 years of service. Ray was a life-long learner and later earned an Associate's Degree in Accounting in 1978 from Midland's Technical College.
Ray married Betty Winn on December 20, 1957 and they were married for 55 years. They had four children, Joseph E. Flowers, Kirk D. Flowers, Denise F. Price (Scott) and Lynn K. Flowers, MD (Anja) and three grandchildren; Adrianne Flowers, Andrew Flowers, and Sophia Flowers.
Ray was active in numerous civic organizations including the Masonic Lodge, York Rite, Scottish Rite, Shriners, Gamecock Club and the USC South Carolina Society. He was a member of the Columbia Running Club. He was a Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church, North Augusta, SC. He was also a member of the Parkinson's Disease Support Group.
He later worked with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of South Carolina as a technical consultant. In retirement, he worked part-time with The South Carolina State Museum and the South Carolina Department of Revenue. He also taught in the technical and vocational divisions of Lower Richland High School and the Department of Juvenile Justice Centers.
Ray was active in the genealogical research of the Flowers Family and contributed to the published reference, The Flowers Chronicles – 1542-1987. This book received the Award of Excellence in recognition of a special contribution to the preservation of SC and NC history.
Ray lived in Cayce, South Carolina since 1971. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Columbia, SC since 1951. He also was a member of the American Legion Post #130 in Cayce. Ray was an active Mason and Life Member of numerous Masonic organizations. He was Life Member and Past Master of Richland Lodge #39 AFM, and also a member of Sinclair Lodge #154 AFM and Boyleston Lodge #123 AFM. He was also the past Secretary-Treasurer of Masters and Warden Club, 10th Masonic District and member of the SC Masonic Research Society. He was a member of Columbia York Bodies, Columbia Chapter #5, Columbia Commandary #2, Union Council #5, Knight Crusaders of the Cross, Illustrious Master of Union Council #8, Anointed High Priest SC, Super Excellent Master, Knight Masons of SC Council #20, Grand Commander's Club, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Masonic Light Club, Allied Masonic Degrees of USA Columbia Council #157, Palmetto York Rite College No. 70 and member of the Knights York Cross of Honor. He was Life Member of Columbia Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite 32nd Degree and the Scottish Rite Research Society. He was also member of the Eastern Star and former member of the Jamil Shrine Temple, Past-Masters Unit.
He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and some of his closest friends, Harold Timmons, Larry Schoff and Harold Gray.
Memorials may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation Gift Processing Center, PO Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD, 21741-5018 or www.parkinson.org