Ray Byron Wyche, 92, died on January 9, 2020, at Columbus Regional Healthcare in Whiteville.
A native of Hallsboro, he was the youngest of five children of Joseph Byron Wyche and Mary Bailey Blanchard Wyche. As a youth, he worked in the family business, Pierce and Company, and he long remained involved as an officer with the firm and its successor, Wyche and Company.
Ray graduated from Hallsboro High School in 1944 and attended Wake Forest College before being drafted into the U.S. Army. He served with the occupation forces in Germany at the end of World War II. He returned to Wake Forest, where he was a member of Sigma Pi social fraternity, and graduated in 1950 with a degree in English.
He was the Hallsboro postmaster for 30 years, also serving as a trainer postmaster, a member of organizational audit teams at other offices, and editor of the state postmaster organization newspaper. He was a correspondent for the Wilmington Star-News for 30 years and a writer for the Whiteville News Reporter from 1999 until 2019.
A lifelong member of Hallsboro Baptist Church, Ray served as a deacon, the church clerk for 40 years, a teacher of adult Sunday school from 1952 until 2012, and a member of the Columbus Baptist Association executive committee.
He served on the Southeastern Community College board of trustees, the Southeastern Community College Foundation board of directors, the Lake Waccamaw State Park advisory council, the Department of Aging’s Senior Citizens Centers advisory council, and the board of directors of the Columbus County Travel and Tourism Bureau. He was a Literacy Council adult tutor and was active in the Columbus County Historical Society and other community organizations.
Ray had wide-ranging interests and avocations, including but not limited to furniture making, antiquing, local history, reading, photography, traveling, gardening, and cutting firewood. He was a modest man with a deep soul.
He was predeceased by his siblings Henry Wyche, Dr. Joseph Wyche, Benjamin Wyche, and Jane Wyche Schulken, and by his son Robert Wyche. He is survived by his wife of 68 years Melba Pate Wyche, daughter Kathleen Wyche and husband Joe Mobley, son Joseph Wyche and wife Yvonne, and grandsons Byron Wyche and David Wyche.
A visitation will take place on Thursday January 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at McKenzie Mortuary in Whiteville. The memorial service will be on Friday January 17 at 1:30 p.m. at Hallsboro Baptist Church, with a reception to follow in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in memory of Ray to the Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville NC 27361, or to the Wilmington Branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, 1314 Marstellar Street, Wilmington NC 28401.
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