FRANKLINTON - Colonel (Ret.) James Ray Carnes, 84, of Louisburg passed away July 6, 2016. He is the son of the late Ransome Bayse and Mary Alma Williams Carnes. Jim was born in Gaston County, NC on August 31, 1931. He was married to the late Bobbie Jo Aaron Carnes for fifty-five years, who passed away in 2010. He is survived by his present wife of 4 years, Rev. Anita Marie James-Carnes. He is the beloved father of James Ray (Deb) Carnes, Jr. of Seattle Washington and Jon Eric (Diane) Carnes of Apex, NC and dearly loved stepfather of Donald (Susie) James, Dana (Melisa) James, and Amy (David) Krec. His thirteen grandchildren include James Ray Carnes, III and Rachel Marie Carnes of Seattle, WA; Christopher Gordon and Daniel David Carnes of Apex, NC; Adam Michael James of Texas; Anthony Michael James (Britany) of Iowa; Amanda Lynn James (Rob) of Akron, Ohio; Abigail Ann Hoover and Abby Rachelle (Chris) Oates of Zanesville, Ohio; Collin Donald and Cooper David James and Aurora Nicole and James Tiberius Krec of Youngsville, NC. Great-granddaughters are Lily Ann and Madelyn June Oates of Zanesville, Ohio. He is also survived by his brother, Ransome Bayse (Mary) Carnes of San Diego, California; sister Dorothy Jean Ellis Ashcraft (Lelon Dollar) of Raleigh, NC; and sister-in-law Norma Carnes of Myrtle Beach, SC. A sister, Mildred Elizabeth Meeler, and brother, Kenneth Allen Carnes, preceded him in death.
Jim grew up in Cramerton, NC, where he attended The New Hope Baptist Church. Jim was a graduate of Cramerton High School, earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Gardner Web College in Boiling Springs, NC, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest College, NC, a Master's Degree in Mathematics and Advanced Doctorate studies in Mathematics at NCSU.
Jim joined the United States Air Force as Aviation Cadet and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1954 and awarded Navigator Wings shortly afterwards. During his career, Jim served in several Major Air Force Commands including Military Air Lift, Tactical Air Command, and Systems Command. He served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and led the Strategic Analysis and Gaming Agency, and served two tours in Viet Nam as Navigator of the B57 Bomber. He was shot down in the delta region of South Viet Nam and bailed out of a burning airplane. He gave God the glory for saving his life as the US Army picked him up quickly. Jim retired as a full Colonel in the US Air Force in 1981.
Jim and Bobbie retired to Franklin County where they were very active in community and civic organizations. Jim has been a member of the Louisburg American Legion, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign War, was active in the Republican Party, the Franklin County Arts Council, the Whistlers International Convention, Franklin County Department of Aging, and the Literacy Council. Jim taught computer technology and prepared taxes at the Louisburg Senior Center, served as a volunteer at Franklin Regional Hospital, was a past member of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and the Piedmont Chorale. Jim was an active member of The Louisburg United Methodist Church where he was active chairman of many committees, a choir member, and the treasurer of the Louisburg United Methodist Preschool. Jim and Bobbie traveled around the world in their retirement, spending wonderful times together. Jim and Anita were blessed with wonderful times together traveling to the Holy Land, Greece, and several cruises in the Caribbean and Europe. They served the Lord together in ministry in several churches and nursing homes. Jim will be deeply missed by his family and church.
Funeral service was held at the Louisburg United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at 2 p.m. Burial followed in the Oakwood Cemetery in Louisburg, NC. Calling Hours were held on Friday evening from 6-8 pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Louisburg United Methodist Church. Arrangements are made by the Strickland Funeral and Crematory, Louisburg, www. Stricklandfuneralhome.net.