Ray Hilton Nelms

Published 9:14 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, Ray Hilton Nelms, devoted family man, church parishioner, U.S. patriot and long-time resident of Suffolk, passed away peacefully at home.



Ray was one of seven loving siblings born to two even more loving parents. After meeting and marrying his true love, Agnes Nelms, in Suffolk, the couple proudly called the city home. They raised their daughter in Suffolk and later opened their home to two granddaughters. It was Suffolk that Ray left to serve his country in both the Army and Navy — one term during World War II. And Suffolk is where he happily returned to his lifelong job as manager and shoe salesman extraordinaire at Russell & Holmes. Ray lived his life with the ultimate goal of meeting his Lord, serving as a deacon at First Baptist Church and spreading the word to anyone who would listen. We seek solace in the fact that he has now met that goal, and is twirling his pre-deceased wife Aggie around heaven’s great dance floor.

Ray is survived by his daughter, Deborah Luisi, of Suffolk; brother, Fred Nelms, and wife, Christine, of Suffolk; and granddaughters, Rosalia Luisi and husband, Stephen Wardle, and Jenna Luisi and boyfriend, Jamie Wirth, all of Raleigh, N.C.; and many extended family members.

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A funeral service will be held Monday, Dec. 21, 2015, at 11 a.m. at Parr Funeral Home and Crematory with the Rev. Charles Thompson and Dr. Thurman Hayes Jr. officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery. Friends may join the family for a visitation Sunday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. at Parr Funeral Home & Crematory. Condolences may be registered online at www.parrfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project by visiting www.woundedwarriorproject.org/donate.aspx to download a donation form.