Johnnie Ray Washburn – Obituary

by Lynn McMillen
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JohnnieLoving father, grandfather, and faithful friend.

Johnnie Ray Washburn, 88, of Decatur passed away December 30, 2013, at Morningside Assisted Living Center in Decatur. Mr. Washburn was born January 2, 1925, in Morgan County to James S. Washburn and Sarah P. Washburn. Mr. Washburn attended Austinville High School in Decatur and graduated from Athens State College in Athens. In December of 1944, Mr. Washburn joined the Army Air Forces (U.S. Air Force) where he spent most of his two years of service in the Philippines and in Japan as a member of the occupation forces. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church and formerly served as an Elder. He also coached baseball and basketball for a number of years at the Decatur Boys Club and in the Dixie Youth Program in Decatur. Mr. Washburn began his career in sales with Decatur Iron and Steel Company and retired as the Executive Director of North Alabama Industrial Development Association after serving the organization for over 30 years. He traveled across the world to recruit industry for North Alabama and the Tennessee Valley Region. Mr. Washburn was one of the organizers of the Industrial Developers Association of Alabama where he served as President. He was a member of the Southern Industrial Developers Council, the Industrial Development Research Council, and the Advisory Committee for the School of Administrative Science at UAH. He was also active in the community serving as Past President of the Decatur Jaycees in 1957-58 as well as a Past President of the Decatur Rotary Club, where he was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow and had been a member since 1962.

Mr. Washburn was preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Mildred L. Washburn; his parents; one brother, J. Paul Washburn; and three sisters, Mattie Weldon, Mary Lou Roberts and Katie Ratliff. Survivors include one sister, Eunice Hill (Fletcher); his son, Michael R. Washburn (Marian); his granddaughter, Ally E. Washburn; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be Friday, January 3, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Decatur. There will be a visitation at 1 p.m. in the church sanctuary followed by the burial in Burningtree Memorial Gardens with Roselawn Funeral Home directing.

The Pallbearers will be Sam Ferlisi, Jack Fiorella III, Doug Fisher, Wayne Morris, Jeff Rabren, Matt Scalici and John Whitley.

Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Murphree, Gil Crane, Earl Morris, Bob McKenzie, Ray Fredrick, Pat Thornton, Web Lunsford and Paul Blackwell.

The family would like to offer a special thanks to the staff at Morningside Assisted Living Center for the loving care of Mr. Washburn. In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorials to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 801 Jackson Street SE, Decatur, AL 35601.

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