Cover photo for Ray Edward Petty's Obituary
Ray Edward Petty Profile Photo

Ray Edward Petty

April 29, 1930 — August 16, 2022

Hartsville, SC

Ray Edward Petty

 

What mattered most...love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part. The Bible says, “let love be your greatest aim.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)

Love leaves a legacy. How you treat other people, not your wealth or accomplishments is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth. Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.*

Ray Edward Petty, 92, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Hartville, SC. Ray was also known to many as Coach Petty and Da. Born to Soonie Naomi and James Reuben Petty on April 29, 1930, in Buffalo, SC. He grew up with his sister, Joyce. During his younger years, he was a faithful paper delivery boy where you’d find him riding his bike before the sun came up. Ray was famously known for his infectious laughter, timely humor, and his “Ray Petty hug”. He never met a stranger, always speaking to everyone, especially a young person. It was important to him that everyone felt seen and full of worth, and he had a way of doing that.

Growing up, baseball was a major part of his life and was known for his left-handed pitching. He decided to join the Air Force and served for 4 years (1948-1952) where he was stationed in Japan and Warner Robins, Georgia. During his service, he played baseball and continued his baseball career after the service in college.

Ray married Frances Abrams Petty, the love of his life, at the age of 28 years old and together they had 4 daughters. Amy Petty, Susan McElveen (Ervin), Beth Tyner (Todd), and Kerry Parker (Steve). As a family, they loved to go camping with the coffee pot campers, playing sports, riding motorcycles, spending time with neighbors, and attending West Hartsville Baptist Church where Ray was a dedicated Sunday school teacher for over 50 years, deacon, and various committee member. Being a kind and dependable father was of the utmost important to Ray and he certainly did not disappoint when it came to whole heartedly loving his family.

Following his time in the service, he attended Spartanburg Methodist College then continued to Newberry College to complete his bachelor’s degree. He loved to tell the story about how he was enrolled at Wofford College but hopped in the car with his friends on move in day who were going to Spartanburg Methodist. On the drive over, he decided he was just going to go with them, so that day, he enrolled at SMC.

Education was important to him, and he went on to obtain his master’s degree at Appalachian State University. At this time, he had been teaching at Hartsville High School but following his master’s degree, he transitioned to being a guidance counselor. Making people feel cared for and loved was what he treasured the most.  During his time at HHS, he coached football and baseball. He retired after 34 years at HHS.

Other ways he served the community was though working with the Pee Dee Area Big Brother Association for over 50 years. Additionally, working for 11 years on the administrative staff at Florence Darlington Technical College as a mentor and counselor.

In addition to his wife and children, Ray is survived by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Jay and Telissa McElveen (Asher and Raleigh), Drew and Blair McElveen (Wyatt and Micah), Jeff McElveen, Mary Catherine and Philip Fulmer (Hank), Molly and Matt Griffin, Emily and Justin Prewitt, Rebecca and Brad Barwick (Anniston), Katie and Josh Schwartz.

The family would like to acknowledge and thank the many, many friends who have helped, loved and supported us all through these last months. We would like to say a special “thank you” to our adopted sister, Martha Bryant for her constant love, care and prayers.  We would also like to thank Rickey Smith, caregiver and best buddy, for his compassion, kindness, humor and incredible care.  He will forever be a part of our family.

Ray was preceded in passing by his mother Soonie Naomi, his father James Reuben, and his daughter Susan Petty McElveen.

The funeral service will be held at West Hartsville Baptist Church, Saturday, August 20 at 2:00 pm. There will be a visitation on Friday, August 19 at WHBC from 5:00-7:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to West Hartsville Baptist Church, 1003 W Carolina Ave. or the Trent Hill Center, 522 W Bobo Newsome Hwy.

*Reference: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, August 19, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

West Hartsville Baptist Church

1003 W Carolina Ave, Hartsville, SC 29550

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Funeral Service

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

West Hartsville Baptist Church

1003 W Carolina Ave, Hartsville, SC 29550

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Burial

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Ends at 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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