Raymond Morehead passed away on July 5, 2021, following an accident while on a run near his home in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Ray loved to run. Other than spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, there were few things that gave Ray more satisfaction than a long run. His family and friends are deeply shaken by the sudden and tragic loss, but they are trying to take some solace in the fact that Ray was taken while doing one of the things he enjoyed most.
Ray was born in Woodstock, Illinois, on August 14,1949. He was the oldest of four children born to his parents Dorothy and Gail Morehead. In addition to his loving wife Cathy who he adored —and admired (and was thankful for) her ability to put up with the ‘endearing’ frustrations that he ably supplied — Ray is survived by his sons Micheal and Robert Morehead, and his daughter Jocelyn Ford (Grady), grandchildren Hazel and Ruby. Ray is also survived by his siblings Barbara Nelson (Larry), Peggy Garman, and Patti Harvath (Mike).
Ray’s educational and professional life was as meandering as it was impressive. After graduating with a degree in industrial engineering at Northwestern, he obtained a medical degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago. He went on to practice medicine for many years as General Surgeon before shifting gears and obtaining a masters degree in computer science from West Virginia University. He loved the problem solving, puzzle-like qualities of computers and coding. And he loved teaching others about it. After finishing his computer science degree he spent more than a decade teaching bright eyed undergrads upper level computer science courses at WVU, where he developed a reputation for being a demanding, but available, instructor sought out by students wanting to obtain a mastery in coding.
After retiring from WVU, Ray and Cathy moved to North Carolina. They quickly made friends in their community in Fearrington Village and enjoyed lounging at the pool, playing bridge and recently picked up pickle ball. While they moved to retire, it didn’t stick for Ray. He ended up working from home for Apex Solutions continuing to do the coding and computer engineering that he found so rewarding.
‘You rest, you rust,’ he’d say. He was full steam until the very end. That’s for sure. None of us get much say in how the story of our earthly body ends. But as those of us that he left behind wrestle and reckon with the reality that he’s gone and we fret over the would-be-made- memories that will have to go, we can’t help but think that the old fella is looking down at us, shaking his head with a wry grin at the plan that the cosmos had for the end of his story. He liked this old quote from Yogi Berra and would drop it into conversation from time to time, ‘Predictions are hard — especially about the future.’ Hits like a brick.
Ray’s family will be holding a private celebration of his life at a later date on the Greenbrier River Trail in West Virginia, one of his favorite places to run and spend time with his family. In lieu of flowers, the family is collecting donations for the Greenbrier River Trail Association with hopes and plans of having a bench installed along the river trail in Ray’s honor and memory. Donations can be mailed to Greenbrier River Trail Association PO Box 1878 Lewisburg, WV 24901. Checks can be made out to the Greenbrier River Trail Association.
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