Leonard Ray “Pop” Rauton
Ridge Spring-Leonard Ray “Pop” Rauton, died peacefully at his home the evening of May 24, 2021. He was 88 years old. Ray was the oldest son of the late Louis “Ray” Rauton and Naomi Jordan Rauton. Ray was born and raised on the family farm between Ridge Spring and Johnston, SC. It was there he developed his love of agriculture and farming. Along with his grandparents and parents they raised livestock, vegetables, watermelon, hay and peaches. During his school years he was regularly active in the Future Farmers of America, he enjoyed promoting the farming he loved. A highlight of his senior year in 1952 was representing Johnston, SC in the FFA National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. During these years he also served his country with the South Carolina National Guard from 1947-1956. Ray attended Clemson College in the fall of 1952 after finishing high school in Johnston, SC. It was at Clemson he was given the name “Pop”, which he became known for the remainder of his life. His love for the Clemson Tigers was deeply rooted as he played football on the practice team under the instruction of legendary Frank Howard.
In 1954, while a student at Clemson College he met Doris Eakin of Climax, Georgia through a mutual friend. Three months later married her and moved her to the farm. In 1955 Pop gained employment with Dupont, and later Westinghouse, at Savannah River Site. He carved out a career, retiring in 1993 after 39 years of service to the company at SRS. He served his community as an active member of the Johnston Jaycees and a member of the Masons. He was a lifelong member of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church. He loved his church and instilled the love of Jesus and his faith to his children. During his 67 years of marriage to Doris he continued to farm, primarily peaches, while raising 3 children and working full time at SRS. Pop and his father, Ray, where known as an institution at the South Carolina Farmers Market. Pop began driving a truck full of peaches to the market at the age of 12. Through the years the SC State Newspaper wrote articles highlighting the Ray Rauton peach farm and the institution they created. His son and grandson continue the tradition of family farming on the ridge.
Pop will be missed by his family and friends. He had a big personality that touched so many far and wide. His “fishing tales”, jokes and stories will continue to be told by all he touched. Pop is predeceased by his parents, Ray and Naomie, and a brother, Robert Marion Rauton. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Doris Eakin Rauton, a sister Mary Alice Strickland of Lexington, SC, daughter Jean Rauton of Anderson, SC, daughter Suzanne Redd (Bill) of Aiken, SC, and son William Ray “Billy” Rauton (Lynne) of Lexington, SC. Four grandchildren, Will Redd of Columbia, SC, Jordan Redd of Charleston, SC, Jesse Ray Rauton of Ridge Spring, SC and River Rauton of Nashville, Tenn, Anne Rauton of Pendleton, SC, and many more extended family members in SC, Ga and Fl. who loved him very much.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 12 at noon at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church 1186 Mount Calvary Road Johnston, SC 29129.Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Friends may visit the family home after the service. Memorials can be made to Mount Calvary Lutheran Church 1186 Mount Calvary Road Johnston, SC 29129. Barr-Price Funeral Home and Crematorium, Historic Batesburg-Leesville Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Online register at Barr-Price.com
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