In Memory

Raymond Benton

Raymond Benton


Gary Raymond Benton

November 3, 1941 - January 31, 2015

Resided in Charlotte, NC


Mr. Gary Raymond Benton, 73, of Charlotte and formerly of Gastonia, died Saturday, January 31, 2015, at Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster in Charlotte. Ray was born on November 3, 1941 in Gastonia, the son of the late Hoyt William and Lucille House Benton. He grew up in Gastonia and attended Ashley High School where he was an avid baseball and basketball player. He attended Western Carolina University where he was on the student council and played intramural sports. He held Masters and EDS degrees from Winthrop College.

Ray spent his early career at Ford Motor Company in customer service. He made a career change to education in the mid-70s and spent 25 years in the Gaston County School system with various roles such as teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, principal, and later the Director of Personnel. After he retired, Ray could be found playing golf with dear friends, watching and talking about Carolina basketball, and spending time with his wife, daughter, and two granddaughters, who were the light of his life.

Ray is survived by his dutiful and loving wife of 48 years, Brenda Kelley Benton of Charlotte; his daughter, Kristen Benton; two granddaughters, Emme and Eliza Babb, all of Matthews; his brother, Robert Lee Benton and wife Joy, of Gastonia; and nephew, Robert Lee Benton, Jr. of Charlotte.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Vickie Joe Benton.

The family would like to extend special thanks to the exceptional doctors, nurses, and staff affiliated with the Carolinas Medical Center Hematology and Oncology floor who are the true hands and feet of God in great time of need.

A service to celebrate Ray's life will be held at 5:00pm, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in Founders Chapel of McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia, with Rev. James H. Bumgardner, one of Ray's best friends from childhood, officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Ray's honor are requested to the Levine and Dickson Hospice House at Southminster, 1420 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.

Condolence messages may be sent to the family online at

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mr. Benton.

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01/31/15 03:24 PM #2    

Larry Marchant

I knew and liked Raymond all through high school.  Many of us from Ashley went to Western Carolina.  Many of us also became "gym rats" when we could get there.  Raymond was always friendly with everyone and they were lasting friendships.  He will be missed by many.    Larry Marchant

01/31/15 05:53 PM #3    

Scotty Wise (Price)

I'm so sorry to read of the loss of yet another classmate. My memory of Raymond is that he was always such a well mannered, friendly person, and I greatly enjoyed knowing him in high school. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

02/01/15 07:15 AM #4    

Jake Black, Jr. (. )

I'm still shocked.  Just over two weeks ago we talked by phone for two hours and he had no idea there was any problem with cancer.  And now he's gone.  It hurts so bad because we were so close during those years of growing up, playing ball, and having fun.  Never an argument; just "Happy Days".  Raymond was the most easily contented person; he really loved keeping up with the Tar Heels.  He was blessed with a great wife, Brenda, a daughter, Kristen and two grand-children. Raymond's death, and others like Frank Glover who I had planned to call but didn't, makes me just want to express my love at this time to all my classmates and thank you for the pleasant memories. I've waited to late for some, for that I'm sorry.  We loved Raymond, and the bond our class made as kids was stronger than we could have imagined.  Life, we're still learning.  Let's live it with love in our hearts.   

02/01/15 02:17 PM #5    

Buddy Collins

Raymond was one of the best persons you could ever know ... easy going, kind individual. Was in our wedding ... played golf with him a few times in the last couple of years. A true, Southern gentleman !

Buddy Collins

02/02/15 07:46 AM #6    

Gayle Gordon (Petrey)

Truer words were never spoken, Buddy, southern gentleman personified.  Wow, such an outpouring of love recently makes me and us more and more grateful for fun and fellowship with our classmates soon.  Ray will truly be missed.  


02/02/15 10:44 AM #7    

Becky Blalock (Causby)

I was so sorry to hear about Raymond's death.  He was always one of my favorite people to be around at school because of his very pleasant and friendly personality.  He made a difference.  Rest in peace, Raymond.

02/02/15 11:06 AM #8    

Nick Mentavlos

I got to know Raymond when a group of us from Ashley went to Western Carolina in 1960. What a good person he was. I came to know him during those Western years, and it was a privilege to come to know him well.  I did not see him again until some 55 years later when I received a call from a mutual Western Carolina buddy, Ken Rogers. We occasionally get together for coffee, and he called me a couple of months ago to tell me, among other things, that Raymond would be there. We had a great visit after all the years that had passed. He was a very special person and I am happy to  have that time to spend with him sharing stories of family and friends.

May God bless his family and may Raymond rest in peace.


Nick Mentavlos



02/02/15 04:06 PM #9    

Terry Heafner

Knew Raymond from the 9th grade at Arlington through Ashley. Did not have classes at Ashley with him but we were on the baseball team those four years and also American Legion baseball. He was a quiet, easygoing, modest, and dependable individual. He was well liked by all and will be missed. God Bless you, Raymond.

02/02/15 10:02 PM #10    

Linda Brown (Addison)

Raymond...friend and neighbor.  Knew him in high school.....learned to love and respect him as an adult.We lived side by side in Gardner Woods and had many fun time together.  Kristen and our children enjoyed spending many hours growing up and making their parents proud.

Then they moved away...and I have missed them as neighbors.  I have talked with them from time to time..and tried my best to get him to come to our 50th Reunion...but I don't think he did.  I learned of his passing in the Gazette and my heart is heavy and sad.

Our love and prayers are with Brenda and Kristen as they walk this lonesome journey.  Let us support them with our prayers and love.  Linda Brown Addison


02/03/15 11:29 AM #11    

Chip Brunnemer

Like so many others, I remember Raymond as a nice and gentle man.  I haven't seen him since our graduation from Western Carolina, but I have thought of him often.  My college roommate for 3 years and one of my best friends, Ken Rogers, saw him often and I kept up with him in that way.  Tried to get him to come to our reunions through his good friends, Ken Rogers and Jim Bumgardner.  I would have loved to see him and catch up with him on his post college life.  He will be remembered as a really nice man.  We're losing our classmates much too rapidly.  Everybody, please try to come to our reunion this coming October.

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