Ray Hutchins

February 5, 1927 ~ May 8, 2019

Born in: Mount Carmel, TN
Resided in: Johnson City, TN

Ray Hutchins, 92, went peacefully to join his dear mother and father and loving siblings on Wednesday May 8,2019 at the Waters of Johnson City.

Ray was born at home in Mt. Carmel, TN on February 5,1927. He was the baby of the family, having five older brothers and three older sisters. He was proud of being a graduate of “Old Dobyns-Bennett” High School in 1945 and later obtained an electronics degree from Baltimore Technical Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

He married the mother of his children, Mildred Tiller, in 1950 and they lived in several areas including Kingsport, TN, Baltimore, Maryland, Dayton, Ohio, and Nashville, TN, before settling in Bristol, Virginia to be closer to their families. Ray and Mildred were divorced after 25 years of marriage and Ray continued to live in Bristol until failing health required him to move to Nashville to live with his son, Gregg, and most recently with his daughter, Chris, in Johnson City. He had been a resident at the Waters of Johnson City for the past fifteen months.

Ray was drafted shortly after graduating high school and served in the United States Army in World War II, completing tours in Germany and Italy where he kept watch over prisoners of war. He returned to the United States by ship into Ellis Island in New York City.

Ray worked at Raytheon until its closure then obtained his third-class FCC license and became a radio announcer and worked at multiple radio stations around this area including WBBI in Abingdon, VA where he was known as the “Brush Ape” on air. He also worked at WOPI in Bristol and finished his career in radio at WZAP 690 AM in Bristol where he acquired his love of southern gospel music.

Ray loved the Lord and would tell anyone who would listen, “There’s nothing more important than getting your life right with the Lord.” He was a member of Euclid Avenue Baptist Church in Bristol, TN and played in their worship band until his health declined.

Ray was an accomplished musician, playing multiple instruments, including electric and upright bass, mandolin, and fiddle. He was even known to sing a song or two. During his early years as a musician he played with Eddie Skelton performing with Chuck Berry and Fats Domino. He has been a studio musician playing on multiple southern gospel albums. He obtained a goal of many musicians by playing on the Grand Ole Opry for several years in the 1960’s as a member of the “Willis Brothers”. During Ray’s time with the group, they had a number 1 song entitled “Give Me Forty Acres and I’ll Turn This Rig Around” which landed them an international tour including shows in Germany and Japan. He was also most proud they were asked to play at Carnegie Hall in NYC.

He is preceded in death by: his mother, Sally Barr Hutchins and his father, William (Will) Eldridge Hutchins; five brothers, Maurice, Sam, Frank, John, and Lloyd; and three sisters Mamie Larkins, Floy Martin, and Joda Hutchins.

Left to cherish his memory are the mother of his children, Mildred Tiller Hutchins; son Gregory Ray and wife Gayle; daughters, Christina Hutchins-Baldwin and husband Mark, and Mitzi Graham and husband Joe; Grand-children Greg Jr and wife Lauren, Taylor Hutchins, Chaney Graham-Bass and husband Andy, Blakely and Aebri Graham, and Hayley, Harper and

Heath Baldwin; Great grand-children Lincoln, Declan, and Grayson Hutchins and Renley Bass. Several nieces and nephews and countless friends and colleagues.

The family of Ray Hutchins will receive friends from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM Sunday, May 12, 2019 at Morris Baker Funeral Home. A committal service will be conducted at 10:00 AM on Monday, May 13, 2019, at Mountain Home National Cemetery. Family and friends are asked to gather at the cemetery entrance by 9:50 to go in procession.


Visitation: May 12, 2019 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Morris-Baker Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2001 E Oakland Ave
Johnson City, TN 37601

(423) 282-1521

Room: Hickory & Maple Room

Committal Service: May 13, 2019 10:00 am

Mountain Home National Cemetery
53 Memorial Dr.
Mountain Home, TN 37684

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  1. Randall Slagle says:

    Sorry for your Loss, Prayers for the family.

  2. Rose Ann Fleenor says:

    So sorry of your loss, prayers for you and your family.

  3. Kevin Miller says:

    So saddened and sorry to hear of Mr Hutchins passing. He was an accomplished man and a very talented individual and will be missed by all who knew him. He was a good man and a friend to all he met and will be sorely missed by all. Our deepest sympathies to the family and we will keep everyone in our thoughts and prayers. May God hold all of you and keep you and give you peace through this most difficult time. Please accept our sympathies at this time.

  4. Kevin Miller says:

    We are so sorry to learn of Mr. Hutchins passing. He will be missed by all who knew him. He was a good Chritian man and a friend to all he met. May God hold and keep the family though this most difficult time of loss. Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss.

  5. Sharon Edwards says:

    Chris so sorry for your loss. This was poem I wrote for Mom. She loved to listen to music. Sounds like your Dad loved music too.
    Cry Not For Me

    Cry not for me.
    I have not left.
    I merely changed my address.
    I’ll rest awhile in Heaven’s shower of Love until
    I’m restored to all my glory.
    My love for you has always been and that will never change.
    God picked all of you to be my family; for your love and strength, and this he knew you could bear.
    Love guided me and taught me the lessons of life I needed.
    My lessons learned, my journey complete and it was my time to leave.
    Now it’s my turn to guide you and show you the path to take.
    Unconditional love and forgiveness are your lessons to learn.
    So learn and teach to all who have ears to hear.
    Then rest awhile and take the time to reflect on the love we shared.
    I’ll turn on the stereo and play some Patsy Cline and
    we can talk of all the happy times we share.
    I’ll surround you with all my love and fill your soul with peace.
    My love for you has never died and it never will.
    Cry not for me for I am here.
    I’m always at your side. skye2009

  6. J W Hutchins says:

    Gregg, It’s been a while for us but I’ll never forget those wonderful times
    while playing music, with your Dad and you and the tuneups. I’ve had many
    music incounters with Ray down through the years since and iinjoyed
    his great talent so much. I’ll never forget his friendly smile and warm
    friendship. Such a good man he was, I’m so sorry for you and his family’s
    loss. May God bless you all. We will see him again!

  7. Shirley Hutchins says:

    Mildred, Mitzi,Chris,and Gregg and your children are in our thoughts and prayers-Steven ,Shirley Hutchins and Family

  8. Tony Gardner says:

    To Gregg and all the family, I remember your dad well from when we would practice at your house in Bristol and am so sorry for your loss. I will keep the family in my prayers.

  9. Renea smith says:

    Dave and I express our deepest sympathies!
    You’re in our hearts and prayers that Christ will
    Surround you with His comfort love and grace.
    With lots of love and Hugs Renea & Dave Smith

  10. Renea Smith says:

    To dr H Dave and I extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family!
    Keeping you in our hearts and prayers that the lord will comfort love and fill you with His grace! Love and HUGS Renea & Dave Smith

  11. Dany Hutchins says:

    I regret that Melanie and I will not be able to attend Pete’s wake. I know that Pete is with his brothers and sisters in Heaven singing and playing praises for Jesus Christ.If you listen closely you will hear Sally say come and get some of this little scrappy bite.May God be with the whole family.Love to AALL.Danny and Melanie

  12. Danny Hutchins says:

    I regret that Melanie and I wii not be able to attend Pete’s wake tomorrow.I know that Pete is with his brothers and sisters in Heaven singing and giving praises to Jesus Christ and if you listen closely you will hear Sally say come on and get some of this little scrappy bite.May God be with the whole family. Love to ALL! Danny and Melanie.

  13. Linda Sproles says:

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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