Ernest "Ray" Williams Jr.

Tuesday, February 4th, 1941 - Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
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Ernest “Ray” Williams, 79, passed away on Tuesday May 26, 2020. While Dad was born in Roanoke and called it home his entire life, he also traveled the world over with a sense of joy and curiosity. He is survived by his wife and partner Susan Burks Williams to whom he was married for 53 years; children, Dr. Trenor Williams and his wife Sara, Adam Williams and his wife Dr. Talena Williams; his sister Kay Moore and her children Zak and Ben, his brother Andy and his wife Miranda and their children Stephen and Effie; his best friend of 59 years Dan Owen; grandchildren, Emma, Charlotte, Tyson and Stella; second sons, Jamie Marraccini and Dr. Matt Lambert, and as well as every child who responded to his deep belly laugh and easy smile. As he explores the cosmos, Dad joins his mother Eunice “Gaga/Nana” Quisenberry, his father Ernie Williams, his stepfather Jimmy Quisenberry and his brother-in-law Danny Moore.

When you think of Ray Williams, remember his laugh, remember his smile, the twinkle in his eye and know that he loved you. Easier, when you think of Ray Williams, think of love. Pop enjoyed people so much he made a career out of making others happy. From bar owner, restaurant manager, Safari aficionado, hotel proprietor, wedding photographer and everything in between, Dad’s life work was to make anyone smile. Always a favorite at Christmas, he would delight kids from 8 to 80 as the most believable Santa to visit Roanoke. As a Father, Dad excelled at letting his family know how much he loved us. He said the words, “I love you” so often and with such ease in a house full of boys that it continues to be a lesson we practice every day.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for any of the following:
1) Called Dad, Pop or E’Ray he loved helping those less fortunate and would give the shirt off his back for anyone in need. Now, more than ever, we are surrounded by people who need a little help, please consider a donation in his memory to the Southwest Virginia Food Bank: https://www.feedingswva.org
2) Support a local business by enjoying the Ray Williams Sirloin at Ippy’s in Rocky Mount
3) Buy a drink or dinner for a stranger next time you’re at the bar
or Ernest (Ray) X ( ) Williams Jr..
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Private Condolence
Plant a Tree in Memory of Ernest "Ray"
2 trees have been planted in memory of Ernest "Ray" Williams Jr.

Adrianna Bustamante

Posted at 06:12pm
To spreading new life and air...Adam, you and my family are in my thoughts. Adrianna Bustamante
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Ernest "Ray" Williams — Plant a Tree Now

Adam Williams Posted at 11:41am

You've always been a rock star AB. Thank you for the tree - Dad would love it.

Cyndi Stultz

Posted at 08:55am
Sorry Trenor - not Trevor - auto correct!

Cyndi Stultz

Posted at 08:52am
My heartfelt sympathy in the loss of such a great man. I had the privilege of working with Ray for several years at Blueberry Hill. To all of us, he was not only a boss but a great father figure. He was always willing to lend a shoulder to cry on but also knew when it was time to tell us to pull up our britches and move on. Mostly I just think of love and laughter when I think of Ray. He was never shy about sharing his love for Susan, Trevor and Adam. I will especially treasure our trip to Myrtle Beach. Earth”s loss is Heaven’s gain. Prayers going out to the entire family. Much love for Ray, Cyndi Beach Stultz

Adam Williams Posted at 11:40am

Thank you Cyndi. Love and laughter is exactly the way to describe Dad.

Lisa Caldwell

Posted at 10:16pm
Ray will forever remain in my heart. Sadly missed. I had the pleasure of knowing him during the restaurant and bar days at Fiji Island and Blueberry Hill, in the 80s and 90s What a great man. He was truly a wonderful soul. My thoughts and prayers to the family.
Kind regards, Lisa Caldwell

Adam Williams Posted at 11:41am

Thank you Lisa.

Ned Burks

Posted at 08:29pm
It has been one of the signal honors of my life to know Ray Williams, and not just because he had the good sense to marry my cousin Susan (and she, the equal good sense to marry him). It was an honor because, as Susan, Adam, and Trenor know far better than I, Ray was quite possibly the kindest, gentlest, and most loving father to ever pass through this vale of tears. I have never forgotten his repeated admonition to me (like Ray, I am also the father of two boys) to "always tell your boys you love them and hug them every chance you get." Though he set an impossibly high standard, I have done my best to follow Ray's example, and often thought of him in doing so. And I am also grateful for the love and care that Ray and Susan always showed to my mother, particularly in her last years. To Susan, Trenor, and Adam, my wife Margaret and I extend our love and deepest sympathies. It is an inestimable loss. Affectionately, Ned Burks

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