Ray was born in the City of Staunton and was educated in Staunton City Schools. One of six children of native Stauntonians, he became a third generation member of Marquis Memorial United Methodist Church. Upon his graduation from Robert E. Lee High School, Ray enlisted in the United States Air Force. After 4 years in service to his Country he was honorably discharged and returned to his hometown. Ray was offered the job he had when he joined the USAF. In September or 1972 he resumed his employment with Reid Stores Inc., a local grocer and community icon.
After many years of serving the Community as Staunton's favorite grocer, the Reid Stores owners decided to sell the stores. The 5 stores they owned were offered for sale to the respective Store Managers. I was managing the Terry Court location and at age 28, my wife Carol and I took the financial risk of owning a family business, Ray's Shop & Save. From 1977 - 1991 we were honored to serve the community as a neighborhood grocer. During those years I served as President of the Retail Merchants Association and the Chamber of Commerce. In 1984 I was elected to what would be a 23 year term as a member of the Board of Directors of Planters Bank and Trust, now Union Bank.
In the 14 years we owned and operated the neighborhood grocery we were forced to change suppliers 3 times. The industry was changing and we were seeing some competitors selling their goods at lower prices that we could buy them. Our store was one of three of the old Reid Stores in Staunton. The other two store owners in Staunton decided to sell their stores and then . . . we were on our own. The costs of advertising were growing, competition was increasing and the population was static or declining. Carol and I talked and prayed and decided it was time to change careers.
******* More to come ******