Arthur B. Ray, 82, lifelong resident of Niagara Falls, passed away on December 7, 2012, at Mt. St. Mary's Hospital. Born on October 13, 1930, Arthur was the first child born to Marjorie (Shackelford) and Walter Ray. After Marjorie's passing Walter married Hattie Golden.
Arthur attended local schools including Niagara Falls High School, where he was a member of the drama club and also ran track. As a teen, Arthur was responsible for business matters at carnivals that his father ran in the area. He maintained his interest in business and later graduated with an an accounting degree from Niagara County Community College.
Arthur was formerly employed by Carborundum Company as a foreman. Arthur had many business ventures. In the early 1960s, he and his then partner established the accounting firm, Palmore and Ray. Later in 1972 he opened the accounting firm A.B. Ray & Associates, where he continued to work along with his daughters until his illness.
Arthur was the first African American to serve on the Niagara Falls Board of Education during the 1960s and early 1970s. Always active in civic affairs, Arthur was a member of the Deacons Fellowship of Niagara, Gideons International, Electric City Lodge #49, Rotary International and the Black Pioneers among other organizations. He was a longtime member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, where he served as Deacon. He enjoyed cooking and especially enjoyed his family and his friends.
Surviving is his wife of 60 years, Constance (Nicholson) Ray; five children, Arthur B. (Gladys) Ray, Jr., Donna Ray, Robin Ray, Sandra Ray and Heather (Kevin) Ray Cottrell; mother, Hattie Hobbs; one brother, Louis (Muriel) Ray; one sister, Christina Hobbs; eleven grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren; and several relatives. He was predeceased by two sons, Daniel and Jonathan Ray; brothers, Robert, Felix, Walter Jr. and Reginald; two sisters, Jane and Ester.
The family will receive friends at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 3118 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, from 2:00-4:00 PM and at New Hope Baptist Church, 1122 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY on December 11, 2012, from 5:00-8:00 PM. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 12th, at 11:00 AM at the New Hope Baptist Church. Arrangements entrusted to Williamson Funeral Home.
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