LOUISBURG - E Ray Cardwell, 83, of Louisburg, died Thursday afternoon at his home.
Ray was born July 23, 1933 to the late Ethel Cardwell and Tom McGuire. Ray was predeceased by his daughter, Star Cardwell Abbott; his brothers, Judge, Wade, and Thomas; and his sisters, Florina, Stella Mae, and Pansy.
He was a member of Corinth Baptist Church. One of 10 children, Ray worked hard to make sure his wife and children had a much better life than he did growing up in Wilkes County. The fairest of men he was, and never met a stranger. He came to Louisburg, along with his family, and produced wood for South Atlantic Lumber Company. After losing his right arm in a sawmill accident at the age of 17, he purchased his first log truck and the rest, as they'd say, was history. At 19, he married Faye Hudson who stayed beside him through thick and thin and handled the books for E Ray Cardwell Inc. As time moved on, he expanded his operation to include chip vans and bark crawlers. His trucks would move logs and wood by-products for International Paper Company, Weyhauser, Union Camp, Louisiana Pacific and Toney Lumber Company, to name a few. In 1985, he was featured in a television commercial for Safe-T-Plus, a steering device for big trucks that had front tire blowouts. He took turn three at Rockingham at 60 mph, they blew out the right front tire, and he drove to pit road safely. With his nub.
Ray loved to fish, weave a good tale about losing his arm, watch NASCAR, garden, be a friend, and give. Whether he had it or not, he always wanted to give. If you were in need, Ray Cardwell would help. Whether it was someone local, or the supply drive for Hurricane Hugo victims in 1989, he wanted to make someone's life better.
A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday at Corinth Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Ray is survived by his wife of 63 years, Faye; two daughters, Penny Strickland (Al), Elaine Cardwell; a very special son-in-law, Jerry Abbott; and a son, E. Brent Cardwell. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild; brothers, Rufus McGuire, Bill McGuire and J.C. McGuire.
Ray Cardwell embodied a spirit of never give up, never let it buffalo you, and always know there's someone worse off than you are. Ray Cardwell is the definition of a hardworking man.
Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Corinth Baptist Church, Choir Fund, 907 Trinity Church Rd., Louisburg, NC 27549.
The family will receive friends 4 - 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Strickland Funeral Home & Crematory, Louisburg, www.stricklandfuneralhome.net.