John Raymond Waters, 69 of Ormond Beach, Florida passed away on August 26, 2020 from cardiac complications. Ray was a larger than life personality that touched and impacted a lot of people with his presence, loyalty and sense of humor. He previously resided in South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia.
Ray was born in Richmond, Virginia on April 9, 1951. He was the oldest of 12 siblings. You can’t talk about Ray’s life without his large tight knit family and the countless stories and bond that they share. He had ten brothers and one sister with dozens of cousins, nieces and nephews. Ray and the Waters family were infamous around Richmond for many years, especially around the West End and Short Pump area where he grew up. That was long before that area was full of movie theaters, gas stations and shopping malls; Ray and his brothers made sure that they didn’t leave any stone unturned, some might say they ran the neighborhood. Ray graduated from JR Tucker High School in 1971. He spent his early adult life in Virginia with his first wife, Gloria Waters, and their son Eric. In his later years, Ray and his spouse Lynn Garrison resided in South Carolina and Florida together. Ray loved Lynn very much and they were an amazing support to one another. Their relationship was guided by love, patience and humor.
Ray is preceded by his mother and father, Florence Wagner Waters and John William Waters Jr., and brothers Kenneth, Russell, Neil, Doug, and Donald. He is survived by his loving spouse, Lynn Garrison, his son Eric Waters and his wife Stacie Waters, Daughter In Law Ashely Bean and her husband Randy Bean. Ray and Lynn have five incredible Grandkids- Georgiana and Elias Waters, Connor Pulley, Hayden and Bradley Bean. Ray had six surviving siblings, Stuart, Jeff, Brion, Scott, Sharon and Paul. He was often considered a favorite uncle by many of his nephews and nieces for his unique sense of humor and personality.
Ray was a loving and proud father, he would run through walls, fire and mountains for his son and family. For many years, he coached soccer and basketball, including coaching some of his son’s teams. A lot of kids in the late 1980s/early 90s around Richmond used to know him as “Coach Ray” or “Coach Waters.”
Ray loved sports and music. Ray and his brothers were in the high school band, he played the baritone sax. Ray had an acute ear for music, he had hundreds of legendary records, cds and tapes. He had a stint as a radio show host on a small college radio station at University of Richmond. In his later years, Ray played competitive softball, golf and bowling. His favorite sports teams were the Washington Redskins, old Yankees teams (including Mickey Mantle) and anything Virginia. Ray also found joy in fishing. His son Eric recalls many fishing trips as a kid with him and his buddies, often waking up at the crack of dawn and heading down to the river or a pond with rods, reels, tackle, breakfast, a cooler and an am/fm radio. Ray grew to love Nascar and spent a lot of time at raceways, especially the Daytona Intl Speedway. He had a health scare in late 2018 and got out of the hospital a mere few weeks before the big race in February. The doctors and nurses said there is no way he would have the energy or ability to make that race. One of his nephews later described his disbelief as he watched Ray boldly walk into the race when people didn’t think he could physically make it.
Ray meant the world to his family and friends. Ray was kind, generous, thoughtful, and always found humor in every situation. While it’s hard to summarize his life because of how robust of a person he really was, if you knew him his presence will live on in us forever and beyond. The family will plan to hold a celebration of life sometime in the future, planned for 2021.