William Ray Flemming, 93, widower of Evelyn Matejik Flemming, died July 12, 2014, in Columbia.
Born March 25, 1921, in Clarendon County, he was a son of the late William and Lucy Hicks Flemming. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. A graduate of Clemson University, he remained a loyal Tiger throughout his life, was active in IPTAY, was a lifetime member of the Clemson Fund and the Clemson Alumni Association and served on the University Board of Visitors.
A great athlete, William Ray Flemming lettered in baseball at Clemson and was a member of the Letterman's Association. A homebuilder in the 1970s and 80s, Ray was best known for his agricultural work as a produce broker, and he encouraged the growth of South Carolina business through his membership in the National Chamber of Commerce.
In 2003, he was honored as “Mr. Peach” by the South Carolina Peach Growers Association for his lifelong work in the peach industry. Late in his business career, Ray founded Midland’s Insurance Agency to serve the crop insurance needs of growers and farmers in South Carolina. He was an avid fisherman, hunter, golfer and a longtime member of Spring Valley Country Club.
Ray had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed flying private airplanes for many years, often flying to Clemson to attend football games. He was the last remaining founding member of Kathwood Baptist Church, and later, as a member of Shandon Baptist Church, Ray served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and mentor to many young people over the years. He will be greatly missed by those who shared his friendship and fellowship, and most of all by his loving family.
Survivors include a son, Bill (Susan) Flemming; a daughter, Kay Flemming; a step-daughter, Terry (Marc) McKoy; six grandchildren, Matthew (Sissy) Flemming, Ashley Flemming, Caroline Flemming, Lindsay Flemming, Madison McKoy and Brittany McKoy; four great-grandchildren, Jacob Flemming, Maddie Flemming, Isabella Flemming and Mia Flemming; and a special friend and companion, Judith Lawrence of Charleston.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Lu Ann Flemming Brooks; two brothers, George Boyd Flemming and Bruce Flemming; and two sisters, Pauline Eleazer and Marion Dickerson.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Ms. Kelly Hane and the nurses and staff of Palmetto Health HOspice, as well as caregivers Latoya Lindsey, Sanette Campbell and Shatera Crosby for their care and support.
A graveside service will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at Greenlawn Memorial Park, with a memorial service following at 11 a.m. at Shandon Baptist Church, with the Rev. Jerry Long officiating.
Members of his Sunday school class will serve as honorary pallbearers.
The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday at Shives Funeral Home, 5202 Colonial Drive in Columbia.
Memorials may be made to the South Carolina Peach Council Research Quasi-Endowment Fund, 155 Old Greenville Highway, Unit No. 105, Clemson, SC 29631; or to the Shandon Baptist Church Celebration Choir, 5250 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29206.
Shives Funeral Home of Columbia is in charge of arrangements.