Oct. 13, 1930 – Dec. 7, 2012
NIAGARA FALLS – Arthur B. Ray, senior partner in A.B. Ray & Associates, a Niagara Falls tax consulting firm, and a community leader, died Friday in Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, Lewiston. He was 82.
Born in Niagara Falls, the oldest of nine children, he was a graduate of Niagara Falls High School, where he was a member of the Drama Club and ran track.
As a teen, he oversaw business matters at carnivals that his father operated locally and later graduated from Niagara County Community College with an accounting degree.
Mr. Ray worked at Carborundum Corp., where he was a foreman, and he had many business ventures. In the early 1960s, he and a partner established an accounting firm, Palmore and Ray. In 1972, he opened A.B. Ray & Associates, where he worked for many years with his daughters.
He was the first African-American to serve on the Niagara Falls Board of Education in the 1960s and early 1970s.
In 1989, Gov. Mario Cuomo appointed him a member of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
He also was a member of the Niagara County Private Industry Council, the Industrial Development Agency, the Tourism Board and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
He was a member of the board of directors of the Niagara Falls Boys Club, the State Association of Public Accountants and the National Society of Public Accountants.
A deacon at Emmanuel Baptist Church, he also was a member of the Deacons Fellowship of Niagara; Gideons International; Electric City Lodge 49, Free & Accepted Masons; Rotary International; and the Black Pioneers.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, the former Constance Nicholson; a son, Arthur B. Jr.; four daughters, Donna, Robin, Sandra and Heather Ray Cottrell; his mother, Hattie Hobbs; a brother, Louis; and a sister, Christina Hobbs.
A service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in New Hope Baptist Church, 1122 Buffalo Ave.