SACRAMENTO, CALIF. Ray Kent Troutman was born March 19, 1930, at the Statesville Brickyard in Statesville. Ray Kent got off to a rough start; his mother had trouble providing enough nourishment for him and Ray Kent nearly starved. Maybe that is one reason why an argument one could never win against him was "clean up your plate". He grew up on Rural Route 7, now known as Troutman Farm Rd. in Troutman. He attended school in Troutman until he reached high school where he decided to hitch hike into Statesville in order to take the higher level math classes at Statesville High School. The will to survive and to persist stayed with Ray Kent all his life. He was an outstanding student at Statesville High and a hard worker on the farm. Ray Kent brought in the hay, picked cotton, plowed behind a team, slopped hogs, and kept the machinery repaired. He delivered papers, saved Blue Horse notebook coupons and earned a bicycle during World War II so that he could deliver the news to concerned citizens. At one point school and farm work came into conflict. Principal Wheeler at Statesville High chastised Ray Kent's father, a fellow educator, stating that it was wrong to keep Ray Kent out of school to work on the farm for extended periods of time. Ray Kent missed being an Eagle Scout because he never had the luxury of learning to swim. He always loved ice cream and managed to get a lifelong scar when he hooked up the ringer washer to the ice cream maker, accident prone like most Troutmans. At Statesville High he met the love of his life, high society, popular girl Jo Ann Blankenship. Throughout his life, Jo Ann was the soothing balm and the political strategist that softened the edges of Ray Kent's ambitious and hard driving personality. Ray Kent obtained his undergraduate degree at North Carolina State University; he earned a Master's Degree in Engineering at University of Kentucky, and a Master's Degree in Finance at Golden Gate University San Francisco. Ray Kent perfected jet engines at General Electric Corporation and retired from the U.S. Air Force, a full "Bird" Colonel. Residing in Fort Worth, Texas for many years, an avid member of the Cow Town A's (Model A Fords, what else?), Ray Kent passed away in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 27, surrounded by family and friends. Memorial services will be held Saturday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m., at the Troutman Historical Association on Troutman Farm Road.

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