Ray Anthony Hipps
June 20, 1937 ~ February 2, 2024
Resided in: Leicester, NC
Ray Anthony Hipps, 86 of Leicester, went to his eternal home on February 2, 2024.
Born in Buncombe County to the late William Edward and Gertrude Bridges Hipps, Ray was the last of seven children. He often spoke with fondness and admiration for his brothers, Herman Hipps and Charles Hipps; his sisters, Hilda Corn, Mary Murray, Kathleen Gooch, and Inez Ownbey; and brothers and sisters in law, all of whom preceded him in death.
Ray is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Carolyn Blankenship Hipps; sons Rendell Hipps (Kelly) and Nathan Hipps; daughter, Nedda Wallace (Ray); two grandsons, Austin Wallace (Sarah) and Nolan Wallace; his first great granddaughter, Kathryn; and 7 nieces and nephews.
As a boy, Ray accepted Christ as his Savior and was baptized at Deaverview Baptist church. The Lord would later call him into the ministry.
Ray joined the United States Marine Corps and served in the Second Marine Air Wing. Tours took him to the Middle East, to include Greece and Turkey, as well as the Philippines, Japan, and the Far East. He was released at the rank of Sergeant and spent an additional four years in reserve. Ray was unapologetically proud to be a Marine and would often share stories of his experiences and travels during this time.
After working several years for the NC Forest Service, Ray felt the Lord’s call on his life and began his pursuit of secondary education. He graduated from Fruitland Baptist Bible College, attended Mars Hill College, and graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Ray served five western North Carolina churches with a ministry tenure of forty years; and was an active member of the Bi-Vocational Pastors Association.
Undoubtedly, Ray also shared a passion for agriculture and farming. For most of his lifetime, he owned a farming operation to include raising beef cattle, dairy cattle, and tobacco. He was a member of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, Burley Stabilization, and Farmers Home Administration.
Ray enjoyed singing, reading, and had quite a knack for remembering dates and recalling historical events. With an appreciation for the hardships from where he came, Ray could often be heard sharing stories of his childhood memories and life’s journey. Through the years he enjoyed helping people, whether it was showing up with groceries, paying for a financial debt, helping cut wood, or meeting another need in some way. Right up until his later days, he was often seen jumping on and off the tractor like a younger man, feeding cattle and mending fence, planting and harvesting crops, and walking and working the land. He was blessed with the ability to work longer than most and knew no other way. We will miss him greatly.
A graveside service will be held at Green Hills Cemetery on Tuesday, February 6th at 1:00 o’clock with Rev. Rendell Hipps officiating. Groce Funeral home will assist the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Ray’s honor be made to your local church to further extend the love and work of Christ.
Graveside Service: February 6, 2024 1:00 pm
Green Hills Cemetery
25 New Leicester Hwy.
Asheville, NC 28806