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 Author: Bob William Ray Laughridge Posted Date: May 17, 2016
(March 13, 1923 - May 14, 2016)

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Obituary Picture     Memorial services for William Ray Laughridge, age 92, of Newland, will be held at the Newland Presbyterian Church, where he was a member and served as Deacon for many years, on Sunday, May 22, 2016. The family will receive friends Sunday afternoon from 1 until 2 oclock, prior to services, at the Church. Officiating will be Pastor Michael McKee. There will be a private graveside service for the family at Oak Grove Cemetery in Marion, NC following the memorial service.
    Bill, as he was known, was a US Army combat veteran of WWII. He landed in Normandy on Omaha beach on D Day as a tank gunner with the 741st Tank Battalion and participated in five major campaigns, including the battle of St Lo, and the battle of the Bulge, the liberation of Paris,
    He was in the second tank to cross the Rhine River into Germany.
    He attended and graduated from Gupton-Jones School of Mortuary Science. He moved to Newland in 1948 as manager, and later owner of Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home which he operated for over thirty five years. Active in local civic affairs Bill was a member of the VFW, the American Legion, the Masonic Lodge, and a Boy Scout Master.
    Being a pilot, Bill was interested in the development of a safe airport for local businesses and plane owners. He was instrumental in securing a government grant to build the current Avery County Airport.
    Bill was an avid hunter and fisherman and served as president of the Elk River Falls Fishing Club for over twenty years.
    He is survived by his wife Pauline Roland Laughridge of Newland; Daughter Susan Greenert and husband Tim of Louisville, KY ; Grandson Josh Ayers and great-granddaughter McKenna Ayers of Louisville, KY ; Granddaughter Ashley Gibson and husband Darren Gibson and Great-grandson Jake Gibson of Louisville, KY ; Brother James Laughridge and wife Joey of Linville Falls, NC ; a nephew and four nieces.
    Online condolences may be shared at the website
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory in Boone is serving the Laughridge family.

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