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.
Deteriorating conditions and dwindling revenues have prompted officials at the Chicopee Woods Golf Course to lay off the director of golf, take ownership of the pro shop and consider a shakeup of members on an oversight committee in an effort to get the ball back on the green.