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.
With only a few agenda items and the pending departure of City Manager Kip Padgett, who has resigned to take a similar job in North Carolina, the Gainesville City Council has canceled its scheduled work session for Thursday morning.
Kayla Spurlock watched Monday afternoon as her daughter enjoyed the sprayground at Laurel Park. She takes Violet, who is 18 months old, about once a week to the area where she can play in the water spraying up from the ground.
The tired eyes of Justin Biggerstaff grew more weary when he learned that he'll soon be paying an extra $5 per night for his family, which includes three young kids, to stay at the Gainesville Inn and Suites on Jesse Jewell Parkway over the next month or so while he seeks permanent housing.