Double inductions into Second Wind Hall of Fame

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Joe and Frances Wray were honored jointly for their inductions into the Second Wind Hall of Fame in a recent ceremony. Together, they have contributed greatly to our community.

The Children’s Theater Festival of Tryon sponsored Joe Wray. He was one of the founders of the Children’s Theater Festival. This is the 40th anniversary of the festival. For many years Joe served as the coordinator and was a part of the Super Saturday Steering Committee. After his retirement, his involvement continued with steering committee responsibilities and as co-technical director with his wife, Frances, for several years.

He was a founder of the Foothills Housing Partnership Inc. With this group he worked with Thermal Belt Outreach Inc. to interview and approve clients who were eligible for emergency repairs for their home.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

At the First Baptist Church of Tryon, he started and worked with youth programs. He went on mission trips with youth and started a Young Adults Sunday School class.

He was a member of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of western North Carolina. He helped bring together people to share interests, activities, beliefs and experiences.

Joe Wray earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Richmond and a Master of Divinity from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary at Wake Forest University. He taught at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Va.

When he and Frances moved to Tryon in 1974, he taught social studies and English for the Tryon City School system. He was also the coach of the Tryon High School Drama Club. He did this until his retirement in 1998.

Frances Wray was also sponsored by the Children’s Theater Festival. She has been an important part of the theater festival for 40 years. She served on several committees, including the steering committee, luncheon, parade chairman, technical director and stage manager. Some of these things were both pre and post retirement. Frances’ vision, hard work and support continue to impact Super Saturday.

She volunteered for the Foothills Housing Partnership Inc. and she helped her husband who was the founder. She made sure meals were prepared that were needed by workers repairing homes. She planned activities for children who were in need because of low income due to the mills and plants closing in Rutherford and Polk counties.

The Polk County 4-H and Youth Foundation appreciated her help to raise money to have a 4-H Club Center. At the center, youth could have programs and classes to develop into responsible citizens. The 4-H Foundation helps with two BBQ chicken suppers a year. She also taught horseback riding to 4-H Club members that wanted to complete the 4-H Horse Project.

Being the WMU Director, visiting the shut-ins, playing hand bells, and helping with youth programs are a few of her activities at the First Baptist Church of Tryon.

Frances graduated from Coker College in Orangeburg, S.C. She taught school in Bluefield, Va. She taught second grade and was a librarian for the Tryon City School System until she retired in 1999.

The Second Wind Hall of Fame is a 39-year Thermal Belt organization whose mission is to identify and celebrate local volunteers who contribute significantly to the quality of life in our community.

The objective of the organization is to inspire other retirees to recognize that they now have an opportunity for even greater service to their community and continued benefit to mankind.

– submitted by Eloise Johnson