He was born March 7, 1927, on lower Spring Creek in McMinn County, but moved to Bradley County as a child and grew up and attended school.
In early 1945, he enlisted in the Army, and served in Japan with the occupational forces after the war. Upon returning, he came to Chattanooga to further his education and remained.
He was a great lover of the game of baseball and coached a team of teenagers for several years in the East Ridge program. He was one of the three men who founded the Dizzy Dean, Inc. youth baseball program and was a charter board member.
In 2013, he was awarded the Dizzy Dean, Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service.
He also loved music, especially bluegrass and gospel, and played the guitar and sang attending many of the bluegrass festivals in the area every year. He also loved to travel and did so extensively, especially in the western states.
He was a member of the Hixson Central Baptist Church, and was also an inactive elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
He retired several years ago after enjoying a successful career in the bail bonding business and prior to that owned and operated an auto body repair shop.
He was preceded in death by his first wife of 57 years, Gladys Lowe; his parents, Isaac and Grace Seals Rayburn; brothers: Joseph, Walter, Arnold, Lester and Cecil Rayburn; and sisters: Mona Blackwell and Ruby Williams.
He is survived by his loving wife, Maggie Lea Crabtree; sons: Ricky and Douglas (Noveita) Rayburn; daughter, Linda (Eddie Graham) Denham, all in the Chattanooga area; stepsons: Daryl (Diane), of Athens, Daniel (Vickie) and Tim Crabtree, of Riceville; grandsons: Wayne (Selena) Denham, Chris Denham, Philip (Ariana) and Patrick Rayburn, all in the Chattanooga area; three great- granddaughters; three great- grandsons; brother, Robert (Virginia) Rayburn, of Chattanooga; sister, Opal Allen, of Richmond, Va.; and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in the Valley View Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home with the Rev. John Crabtree officiating.
Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Cleveland, Tennessee.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Please share your thoughts and memories online at www.ChattanoogaValleyViewChapel.com