Ray Harold Dailey, age 91, passed away on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center in Wilmington, NC.
He was born on November 23, 1926 in High Point to the late Cecil Egbert Dailey and Sybil Edna Reddick. In addition to his parents he is predeceased by a son, Michael Ray Dailey and a brother, Charles Leland Dailey.
He is survived by his daughters; Mickey Dailey King (Scott), Cathy Dailey Swaim (Lanny) and Lynn Dailey Hege Fant (Michael), a sister, Aelise Smith Harcum and a brother, Judson Cecil Dailey, six grandchildren; Ashley Worrell, Shannon Nicole Garrett, Cole Hege, Connor Hege, Joshua Swaim, Gabriel Swaim and three great-grandchildren; Nevaeh, Katie and Jesse.
Ray joined the US Navy during WWII on December 28, 1943 and served as a First Class Seaman until his discharge on April 6, 1946. He served aboard the USS Santee CVE-29 in the Asiatic Pacific Campaign. After the war, in 1947 Ray then served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne as a Paratrooper. Ray joined the High Point Fire Department and retired on February 1, 1981 after 31 years of service to his community. Ray enjoyed his retirement by living on his sailboat “Southern Cross” for 10 years traveling the East Coast and the Bahamas. Ray then developed a grass airstrip, Twin Oak, in Roseboro, NC where he enjoyed building and flying his airplanes. He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association – Chapter 297 at Stag Park Airport. Ray enjoyed the many friends he crossed paths with while on his adventurous journeys and experienced life on his own terms. When the call from the Lord came, he flew west toward the sunset.
There must be a place where old pilots go,
When their paining is finished, and their airspeed gets low,
Where you'd see all the fellows who'd flown west before.
And they'd call out your name, as you came through the door;
And then through the mist, you'd spot an old guy
You had not seen for years, though he taught you how to fly.
He'd nod his old head, and grin ear to ear,
And say, "Welcome, my son, I'm pleased that you're here.
For this is the place where true flyers come,
When the journey is over, and the war has been won.
Where the hours are happy, a well-deserved rest;
This is Heaven, my son -- you've passed your last test!"*
Visitation with the family will be held Saturday, July 28, 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Cumby Family Funeral Service 1015 Eastchester Drive in High Point. The Funeral Service will be held Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 1:30pm in the Chapel of Cumby Funeral Services. Burial will follow at Floral Garden Park Cemetery.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.cumbyfuneral.com.