Rev. Ray Lester Clinebelle, Sr.

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Rev. Ray Lester Clinebelle, Sr.

Birthplace: Rainelle, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States
Death: December 09, 1998 (72)
Dorn Veterans' Hospital, after a lengthy illness, Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, United States (Dementia)
Place of Burial: 5250 Robert C Byrd Drive, Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Homer Leonard Martin and Pearl Stella Prater Kennedy
Husband of Lois Margaret Clinebelle
Father of Ray Lester Clinebelle, Jr.; Private and Private
Half brother of Private; Owen Tilden Martin; Private and Private

Occupation: Business Owner/Ordained Baptist Minister
Managed by: Ray Lester Clinebelle, Jr.
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Rev. Ray Lester Clinebelle, Sr.

Staff Sergeant US Army for WWII and Korea

Ray was born in East Rainelle, WV where he was raised by his mother, Pearl Stella Clinebell, and grandmother, Eva Nicely Clinebell, and he attended Rainelle public schools. Ray had many chores and odd jobs growing up. He fired up store fires early in the mornings for Rainelle business daily heat during cold days of the year. In afternoons he cleaned the local pool hall where he learned the skills of playing pool and cards. He also cleared land for farmers. In 1943 Ray quit high school and went to Newport-News, VA shipyard to work as an electrician apprentice.

On September 30, 1944 at age 18, Ray enlisted into the U.S. Army. His military records list Ray as green eyes, brown hair, 5 ft. 11 inches and weight 174 lbs. Ray served in the 182nd Infantry in the Philippines in the Luzon Campaign as a sharp shooter rifleman where he received 3 Battle Stars, a Victory Medal, 1 Bronze Star and 1 Purple Heart Medal. He also received the Combat Infantry Badge and was a radio operator. During this period Ray went from private for 4 months then to a NCO with the grade of Staff Sargent for 11 months. When WWII ended Ray was assigned to the U.S. Army occupation of Japan where he was the Chief Clerk for passenger section of HQ of the 3rd Military Railroad Service, supervising the make up, routing and dispatching of military passenger trains. Ray received an Honorable Discharge on April 9, 1946 to reenlisted into the Army Ready Reserve.

Ray met Lois Margaret Miles of Grandview, WV in April 1946 at the Western Union Telegraph office in Rainelle, WV, where Lois was working as a manager. They were married May 15, 1946 by the Rev. D.H. Matherly of the First Christian Church at Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky. Ray and Lois resided in Oak Hill, WV where Ray began a used car business. Ray and Lois had three sons born while they resided in Oak Hill: Ray Jr., James David, and William Randolph.

On March 7, 1950, Ray was called up from reserve to active duty in the U.S. Army where he served in the Korean War as a Rifleman Sgt., NCO, S/Sgt. and Platoon Sgt.. He used to send Lois $500/month from pool and poker winnings. He served with honor and received one silver star, Korean Service Medal w/3 Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. Ray received an Honorable Discharge April 15, 1953.

In April 1953 Ray returned home to Oak Hill and worked in his Ray's Used Car business in East End of Oak Hill. WV. Ray's car sales business grew and his investment in real estate grew. Ray obtained a basic airplane pilot license and enjoyed flying from Oak Hill to many area towns and over the Grandview area. He would buzz some of the Miles' homes and throw out candy as he passed over. But, after a landing accident he gave flying up. He took in a German BMW motorcycle from a service man in trade on a car in 1954. He would take Ray Jr., JD and Randy on rides thru the country.

In April of 1956 Ray sold his car business, the new three year old brick home and substantial adjoining real estate and moved his family to Miami, Florida. There they built and managed the "Lo-Ray" Apartments in S.W. Miami and other real estate rental properties. Later in November of 1956 they moved their family into a new home on NW 139th Street and 17th Avenue, in North Miami, FL. Ray added a swimming pool to the home and bought a inboard deep sea fishing boat. He joined the US Coast Guard Auxiliary in Miami and became an avid boatman. He assisted the Coast Guard with patrolling during the Biscayne Bay boat races between Miami and Miami Beach. The Coast Guard took Ray and other members of the Miami Auxiliary on a large ship round trip cruise to Porte Rico in 1957.

In May 1957 Ray and Lois began attending North Miami Baptist Church where they made professions of faith in Jesus Christ as their savior. Ray became very active in the church ministries. In 1959 Ray moved his family to East Tennessee and began ministerial studies and training at Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, TN. Ray majored in History and Bible and in May 1962 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Cum Laude.

In July 1962 Ray and Lois moved their family to Fort Worth, Texas where Ray enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1962 to 1966. During this time Ray served in 1963-1964 as Pastor at Parker Baptist Church in Parker Texas. Ray earned a Bachelor of Divinity ( later upgraded to a Masters) and a Master's of Religious Education. For the next 7 years Ray served as Minister of Religious Education at churches in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

From 1974 until 1980, Ray and Lois lived in Eastern Tennessee. In 1981 they retired to Surf Side, South Carolina in the Ocean Lakes area. Ray enjoyed building and buying real estate for resale and buying used motor homes for resale. Ray had RE license in FL, SC, and TN. Ray and Lois enjoyed traveling to Florida in the winters in their motor home. They took trips across the US with Good Sam Club Member friends and enjoyed special trips to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Alaska and Israel. They moved to Columbia, SC in 1995 in order for Ray to receive health care at the U.S. Veterans Hospital for dementia and PTSD from his military service days in WWII and the Korean War.


  • Ray Lester Clinebelle, Jr.; wife, Emory Ann Frazier Clinebelle;
  • James David Clinebelle;
  • William Randolph Clinebelle.

Sister: Zethel Prater Anderson

By: Ray Clinebelle Jr. 2017

Ray Lester Clinebelle

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Ray Lester Clinebelle, 72, of Columbia, formerly of Myrtle Beach, died Dec. 9, 1998, in VA Medical Center, Columbia, after a long illness.

He was a native of Rainelle, W.Va. He was an Army veteran of World War II, where he served with the 182nd Infantry and received the Bronze Star. He was a sergeant during the Korean War, receiving three additional Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He was former chief conductor of the Tokyo Railway Division.

He was former owner of Ray's Used Cars in Oak Hill, W.Va., and former owner/manager of Lo-Ray Apartments, Miami. He received a bachelor's degree in history and Bible from Carson-Newman College, Jefferson City, Tenn., and master's degrees in divinity and religious education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. He was a minister in Southern Baptist churches in Texas, Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

Surviving: wife, Lois Margaret Miles Clinebelle; sons, Ray Clinebelle Jr. of Raleigh, N.C., J.D. Clinebelle of Columbia, Randy Clinebelle of Winnsboro; sister, Zethel Prater Anderson of Beckley, W.Va.; nine grandchildren.

Service will be 3 p.m. today at Blue Ridge Funeral Home, Prosperity, W.Va. Friends may call one hour prior to service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 7044, Columbia, SC 29202.

Charleston Gazette, The - (Dec/5/2003)

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Rev. Ray Lester Clinebelle, Sr.'s Timeline

June 17, 1926
Rainelle, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States
December 9, 1998
Age 72
Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, United States
December 12, 1998
Age 72
Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia, United States