Graveside service set for deputy sheriff

Published 11:16 am Monday, August 31, 2009

COURTLAND—Funeral arrangements have been made for a 22-year-old Southampton County sheriff’s deputy who was killed in a car accident early Saturday morning.

Christopher Ray will be laid to rest during a graveside service, with honors, at 3 p.m. today at Riverside Cemetery in Courtland. The Rev. Richard Gordon and the Rev. James W. Browder III will officiate the ceremony.

According to his obituary, Ray was born in Franklin and was a member of Courtland United Methodist Church. He graduated from Southampton Academy in 2005 and Radford University in 2009, where he received a degree in Criminal Justice. He joined the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office on June 1.

“Christopher was a happy, joyful young man who loved working in law enforcement, loved fishing, hunting, his family and friends,” the obituary said.

Ray is survived by his parents, Anne and Kenneth Ray; his brothers, Kevin and Cameron; grandmothers, Betty Watkins and Joan Ray; aunt and uncle, Christy and Tom Holt; aunt, Scotti Russell; uncle, Ronald Ray; cousins, Sara Milley, Jackie Holt, Michael Holt; best friend, John Barksdale and his second mom, Esther Francis. His grandfathers, Earle Watkins and Darby Ray, predeceased him.

The family will receive friends following the service at the fellowship hall of the Courtland United Methodist Church. The family has suggested that memorial donations be made to Franklin/Southampton Crime Solvers, 108 W. Third Avenue, Franklin, VA 23851, or to Southampton Academy, 26495 Old Plank Road, Courtland, VA 23837.

Wright Funeral Home of Franklin is handling the funeral arrangements.