Rayford Monroe Prichard (Ray) of Birmingham, Alabama passed away Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at the age of 87. Ray was born in Baileyton, Alabama Aug. 31, 1933 to Hurschel Rayford and Alice Frances Oliver Prichard as their only child.
After his Mom was killed in a bus wreck when he was 2, Ray and his father joined the maternal family on the farm growing up with a large, loving extended family including his grandmother, aunts, and uncles. Times were tough, but he only told the happy stories and relived the fun times.
Ray graduated from Fairview High School in Fairview, Alabama and continued to Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn University) where he obtained his Industrial Engineering degree. After graduating from API, he served in the Air Force as a navigator earning the rank of Captain. Ray married his sweetheart, Sherry Joann McCain, June 21, 1958 in Cullman, Alabama. She was the love of his life and so proud of her as a devoted wife, affectionate teacher, loving mother, and caring grandmother. They were married for 62 beautiful years.
After the Air Force, Ray enjoyed a long career with Moore-Handley and held many different positions including Vice President – Industrial Division. During his career at Moore-Handley, he was an influential part of SIDA (Southern Industrial Distributors Association) which later became IDA (Industrial Distribution Association). He served in many different capacities in SIDA / IDA including President and stayed very active in the Past Presidents Club for many years. Ray was an instrumental part of the creation and development of The Storeroom, a Division of Thompson Tractor, which was an industrial supply company founded in Birmingham, Alabama. Ray and Bill French were great business partners as they successfully grew the distributorship into a regional favorite. The Storeroom later became part of Turner Supply, Inc. where he continued to lead and grow the Birmingham Division. Many deep, genuine relationships were formed during these years. Ray retired from Turner Supply after a long, successful career in Industrial Distribution.
Ray was a long-standing Mason. He was deeply involved in the Elks organization serving as State President and stayed involved in the Past Presidents Club his whole life. He was a member of the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Jaycees. He served as President of the Hoover Athletic Association for two terms. He served as Chairman of the Fairview High School Alumni Scholarship Fund and Chairman of the Oliver Scholarship & Charity Foundation. Ray was a longtime member of Lakeside Baptist Church where he worshipped with family and friends. He was a strong Christian and proud of his faith.
Ray is survived by his wife Joann; children Michael (Tracey), Julie (Rusty) and Danny (Kathy); and grandchildren Ashley Prichard, Bradley Prichard, Zachary Adams, Carley Prichard and Sumner Adams Compher (Tyler).
Services are being planned and will be announced at a future date. People wishing to honor Ray’s lifelong commitment to family and community can make donations to The Fairview High School Alumni Association for college scholarships at 841 Welcome Road, Cullman, Alabama 35055.
Please visit www.mossservicefh.com to leave condolences for the family. Moss Service Funeral Home directing.