Joseph Ray “Ray Ray” Barlow Jr.

Published 3:18 pm Friday, December 29, 2017

Joseph Ray “Ray Ray” Barlow Jr., 86, passed away Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. Born in Isle of Wight County, Jan. 25, 1931, he was the son of the late Bessie Wright and Joseph R. Barlow Sr. He was a native of Isle of Wight, where he farmed and lived on the family’s Mt. Castle Farm.  

Ray is survived by his wife of 57 years, Shirley K. Barlow; daughter, Lynn Briggs (Robb); sons, J. Ray Barlow III (Crista), and Bryan K. Barlow (Missy); grandchildren, Vaughn, Kelsey, Ross, Jake, Joey and Colton; sister, Mary Lou B. Haverty (Howard, deceased); and brother, Dr. Thomas W. Barlow (Sandra); and a host of extended family and friends, all who loved Ray and now hold his memory near.

Ray was a 1949 graduate of Smithfield High School and a 1953 graduate of Virginia Tech, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He served in the U.S. Air Force with stations in Japan and Hawaii before returning home to Smithfield to run the family farm. In addition to farming, he worked for several years with the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) as a meat inspector. He also loved fishing, rabbit hunting and spending time in his garden.

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A service celebrating Ray’s life will be held Thursday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m. in Smithfield Baptist Church, where he has been a lifelong member, with the Rev. Bob Cofield officiating. Burial will be private in Ivy Hill Cemetery. Following the memorial service, the family will receive friends at a reception in the Family Life Center of the church.  
Memorial contributions may be made to Isle of Wight Volunteer Rescue Squad, PO Box 87, Smithfield, VA 23431 or to Smithfield Baptist Church, Music Program, 100 Wainwright Dr., Smithfield, VA 23430.

Service arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, 14214 Carrollton Blvd., Carrollton, VA. Family and friends are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at