Billie Jean Ray

August 14, 1938 ~ November 16, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


Billie Jean Thompson Ray, 85, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, died at home following an extended illness November 16, 2023.

She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph Jerome Thompson, and Lena Morris Thompson, and by her brother, Kearney Raeford Thompson.

She is survived by her husband of 68 years, Larry Warren Ray. She is also survived by two children, Kathy Ray Hobbs (Ed), and Larry Warren Ray II (Jennifer), two grandsons, Grady Thompson Ray and Garrett Dodson Ray and her brother, Joseph Reed Thompson (Becky).

Growing up on a farm west of Chapel Hill, Billie attended the White Cross School and was graduated from Chapel Hill High School.

Upon graduation, Billie began working at the newly established UNC Memorial Hospital in the Admitting Office where she served for 40 years until her retirement. There she was highly regarded for her work ethic and attention to detail.

Billie retired in 1997 and cared for her mother, her aunt, and her uncle for the following ten years. She enjoyed being in the company of her 14 nieces and nephews and especially loved caring for her grandsons, Grady, and Garrett.

Billie and Warren were faithful members of the White Cross Community and of Clover Garden Church. Billie and Warren participated in several activities from square dancing to shopping for antiques and refinishing them. Billie made crafts and baked goods for friends and neighbors.

When Billie was 75 years old, she began the project of restoring the 1930’s Morris family homeplace, where she and Warren lived for the remainder of her life.

A Service for the Celebration of Life of Billie Thompson Ray will be held Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at 2:00 pm, at Clover Garden United Methodist Church. A graveside committal and visitation in the church Fellowship Hall will follow.

Memorials may be donated to the Cemetery Fund at Clover Garden United Methodist Church, 2757 Orange Chapel Clover Garden Church Road, Chapel Hill, NC, or to the Alzheimer’s Association (

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the loving caregivers who helped take care of “Miss Billie”, including but not limited to Claudia, Carol, Michele, and Liz. They gave her the grace, comfort, and attention we all appreciated during the last years of Billie’s life.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Billie Jean Ray, please visit our Tree Store.


November 22, 2023

2:00 PM
Clover Garden United Methodist Church
2757 Orange Chapel Clover Garden Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27516


Clover Garden United Methodist Church Cemetery
2757 Orange Chapel Clover Garden Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27312


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