Raymond Meabon died March 20 in peace, comforted and loved by his family and friends at his son Richard's house in Charlotte, N.C.
Ray was born Aug. 26, 1922, to Bruce A. and Florence Anthony Meabon in Westfield, N.Y. This is where he would spend most of his life, except for some early moves and some later years spent in Florida and Charlotte, N.C.
He became a solider as he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in August of 1942. That Christmas, while on leave, he married the love of his life, Nancy Augur. This was the beginning of a family that would eventually include daughters Sally and Martha and son Richard. After leave, he served as a heavy equipment operator in the Philippines, where he contracted polio. The result was a year in a California hospital and being classified as a disabled veteran.
Raymond Bruce Meabon
Ray never let the disability restrict his active business career. He was a contract mail carrier for the post office as well as a substitute rural mail carrier from 1949 to 1958. He also operated Ideal Garage, a repair service, behind his house. He came to own numerous vineyards and operated Meabon and Son Custom Farming with his father from the early 1950's through 1964. When his father passed, Ray and his wife, Nancy, ran the business. Then from 1969 through 1987, he was part owner of E&M Picking, using a mechanical grape picker. Ray was never idle during these years. He even owned a Mole Hole gift shop in Charlotte, N.C., for a time. Daughter Martha owns and operates the store today. He still managed to be quite active in his community. He was a 32 degree Mason and a member of the Elks, Moose, American Legion and First Presbyterian Church of Westfield.
A new chapter of Ray's life began as he purchased property at Nettles Island in Jensen Beach, Fla., in 1970. Here, along with many friends of the Westfield area, Ray and Nancy enjoyed an active retirement.
Ray's number one hobby was always traveling. In the early days, the family piled into a vehicle and traveled the United States. Later, Ray and Nancy traveled in various motor homes and spent many days each year on the road. They were not bound by U.S. borders though, as they managed to travel to more than 20 other countries. If there are motor homes in heaven, Ray and Nancy are currently "on the road" checking out their new home.
Ray is survived by his daughter Sally and son-in-law John Shannon of Jensen Beach, Fla., and Rochester, N.Y., daughter Martha of Charlotte, N.C., son Richard and daughter-in-law Evelyn of Charlotte, N.C., six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Westfield, N.Y., or Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care, P.O. Box 33549, Charlotte, N.C. 28233.
A memorial service for Ray will be held this summer in Westfield, N.Y. The paper will publish the exact date and place when the family has finalized their plans.