Wilbur Ray Hales

May 11, 1934 - April 17, 2019
Wilbur Ray Hales

Wilbur Ray Hales, Sr., age 84, of Wilmington passed away Wednesday evening, April 17, 2019, at his home.

Wilbur was born in Wilmington NC on May 11, 1934.

Wilbur’s family was the love of his life, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, friends and extended family. The love and respect he has shared with all who came to know him will last in our hearts forever.

Wilbur’s Mother the late Mary Millinor Hales and Father John Solomon Hales had 12 children. Wilbur was the youngest of 9 brothers. Johnnie Morris, Lee Roy, Mary Elizabeth, James, Robert, Clarence, Jessie, Johnnie, Lloyd, Troy and Frank Hales. It was a family filled with love, kindness, laughs and dedication.

Wilbur was predeceased by his wife Betsy Morgan Hales, he is survived by his son Wilbur Ray Hales, Jr.of Wilmington, daughter Brenda Hales Boone and husband Douglas of Hampstead and Wilson, two grandchildren Amanda Thomas and Brandon Hales of Wilmington, two great-grandchildren Jacob Prevo and Sailor Thomas of Hampstead, NC.
Wilbur and his brother Troy were the original owners of Greenfield Transmission, Wilbur later opened another business, Econo Transmission until retirement in 1994.

Wilbur made such a difference in so many lives, he tried to teach, train and help everyone. He was a mentor to all and wanted them to always find ways to succeed for their future. Wilbur loved building his home and designing furniture, cars, boats basically anything that was wood or had a motor or transmission. Music was such an enjoyment that he self-taught himself to play his organ. The talent and knowledge he had was amazing. The most beautiful part of Wilbur was his strong faith, positive daily attitude, and the love for everyone, he was such a joy and fun to be around with a brain full of science, history and knowledge.

Wilbur was dedicated to raising his family in a Christian way. Wilbur’s greatest teaching was “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and PaPa. He was a man of his word, he was the kindest most honest man respected by all. Wilbur was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Wilmington 319 and served as Vice President, 32nd Degree Master Mason.

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, corner of Sixth and Market St. Wilmington, NC Saturday, April 27th 2019, at 11:00 am. Food will be served following the service at Keever Hall adjacent to the church.

Wilbur has such a special love for children and has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Wilbur’s memory be given to the St Jude Children Hospital. 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105-3678

A special thank you to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Care team for their love, kindness and support.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099.

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  • April 21, 2019
    Sharon Hales-Smith says:
    Uncle Wilbur was what every man should strive to be. He was honorable, honest, humble, and fierce. There'll never be another man like him. His tribute video captures how beloved he was and how much he loved us all.

  • April 27, 2019
    Cathy and Scottie Pleasant says:
    Our thoughts are with you through this very sad time. Mr. Hales was such a good man and was kind and thoughtful to everyone. A dedicated husband, loving father and generous friend. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

  • April 27, 2019
    Cathy Ray lit a candle:
    Lit since April 27, 2019 at 4:43:02 PM

  • April 26, 2019
    Tammy Wilson says:
    Ray I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

  • April 25, 2019
    Tina (Woodcock)Jacobs says:
    Fly with the angels Uncle Wilbur. Grandma Bird has all of her children together with her again. What a celebration that must be. You will truly be missed. Brenda and Ray Ray i am so sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you and your families.