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Alfred McRay Hedgepeth

Alfred McRay Hedgepeth, 98, born August 25, 1921, to the late Alexander and Blanch Hedgepeth in Nash County,NC, passed away January 30, 2020. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Frances Padgett Hedgepeth.

After high school Ray entered trade school to learn a skill in working with sheet metal. After completion of this training, Ray began his career at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY). His time there was interrupted by WWII. Ray served his country, with honors, in the Army Air Corps (in the Pacific Theater).

After the war Ray returned home to Portsmouth, VA, where he and his bride began their lives as parents and active members of a growing community of family and friends.

Ray was, for the most part, a self-educated man.  He was widely read on many subjects.  Some of these subjects would leave his children cross-eyed after LONG lectures that went on late into the evening/night.  Of course, we children at age 8 or 9, fully understood the “Theory of Critical Thinking”

Ray retired from NNSY, where he plied his skills for 36 years.  Along the way he taught his trade as a certified teacher in the Portsmouth City Night School system as well as the NNSY apprentice program. Ray’s retirement lasted 2 whole days.  Unable to sit still, he went to work at NorShipCo and retired from there after 10 or so years.

His escapes were his garden and LONG hours in his wood-working shop, where he made all manner of items.  Some of these items adorn more than a few of the homes of family and friends.  Oh, he also churned out a “few” gallons of ice cream along the way.

Ray is survived by his children Lewis McRay Hedgepeth (Dolores), April Dianne McClenney and Cindy J. Wallace (Allen); 10 grandchildren, 23 (and one on the way) great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren; a sister, Lorrean Davis and a niece, Jeanette Penland.

Here we offer apologies—there is a host of relatives, past and living, not listed here.  Please know you are not forgotten. Ray will be missed by all that knew him.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 2:30 PM in the Holy Neck Christian Church, 4400 Pine View Road Suffolk, VA 23437. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Holy Neck Christian Church Building Fund, Dad would like that. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFh.com.

Rest in peace, DAD.

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To the family of "Mr. Ray" we send our heartfelt sympathy. He was a dear man and a good Christian. He was always willing to help whenever and wherever needed. Hold fast to your wonderful memories of him and his wife. God bless you as you mourn the loss and celebrate a life well lived. Johnny and Joan Fowler Minter, Port Charlotte, Florida

Johnny & Joan Fowler Minter May 13 2021 12:00 AM

While we never met the Senior, we are assured that he was a witty, warm man by his very impressive and simlarly-gifted family. May their heavy hearts be relieved by happy memories. Breathe. Much love to you all.

Kelly and Jay Yaeger May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Our deepest sympathy to all the Hedgepeth family. Senior was part of the "greatest generation" and we all thank and respect him for that. We met him several times and he was full of stories about many subjects. Sure his family has many, many great memories that they will share over the years. RIP SIR. Love Jon and Dee Jacobus

Jon and Dee Jacobus May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Prayers for Lewis Ray, Diane, and Cindy and the rest of the family. Uncle Ray was a special man of God. He will always be in my heart. So sorry for the loss of your father. Marcia Wood

Marcia Peele Wood May 13 2021 12:00 AM

In looking in the obituaries for my brother Stanley Clayton that i lost thursday ..I happened to see a name that I knew very well ..I knew your dad's name was Alfred but I called him Mac.. his daughter will know me as the waitress at Virginia Diner where your dad loved to eat and tell me lots of stories Mac was a very special man I couldn't believe that at his age and it's only been a couple of years before he stopped coming ..that he could walk around like some 40 year old man ..driving the car going to the Apple Festival telling me jokes he was definitely one of a kind .. so independent funny and a good Christian man ..one year for my birthday he made me a candle holder from his wood shop which I cherish since he stopped coming his daughter brought him once to eat and i believe to see me as I was coming into work I seen him for a few minutes as he was leaving the restaurant it made me happy to see him ..I was sending him cards here and there but it got so I was afraid to send anything because it was better not knowing in my heart and in my mind but to see his name tonight truly hurts ..I am so... sorry.. it is a GREAT loss for those who knew him and for those who never got the chance

Jevonne May 13 2021 12:00 AM

Well Im on the way to the church for Rays homecoming celebration and feel led to share these words. You see Ray Papa was my father-in-law. He was definitely a one-of-a-kind man with so many special things and people surrounding him. Ill always be so grateful for how he accepted me and my children in the family nearly 17 years ago. And all the grandchildren Cindy and I have were all treated withe the same love from Papa. Over the past few year I had the pleasure of spending more time with Papa, often watching golf, baseball, and football on Sunday afternoons. Ill dearly miss Ray. Ill cherish the memories. Allen

Allen Wallace May 13 2021 12:00 AM

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Mr. Hedgepeth. He was an outstanding Alumnus of Victoria High School and was in attendance at almost every reunion since we started them in 1982. He will be missed and we will remember him in our program on April 25, 2020. Our condolences go out to all his family. Bobby Johnson President, Victoria High School Alumni

Bobby Johnson May 13 2021 12:00 AM