Ray McRae was a courtly Southern gentleman. He gave his nod to business deals that ranged from a mom and pop grocery store to a company that made engines for missiles used to run Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait in the first Gulf War.
J.M. "Ray" McRae, one of Hall County's most powerful business figures of the past century, died late Thursday night following a brief illness. He was 85.
McRae, who came to Gainesville in 1953, is remembered as the consummate deal maker. McRae was the key player in recruiting a number of industries, including Wrigley's and Rockwell International, which manufactured engines for the Tomahawk missile.
The model car lay shattered on the basement floor, its pieces scattered in every direction.
For weeks, a young Tod Peavy had tinkered and toiled and thought of nothing but this car. But his foster mother resented the red roadster. She hadn't given it to him. Instead, a holiday well-wisher purchased the present for an anonymous foster child, and caseworkers put the toy in the boy's hands for Christmas.