Jack Watson Raybourne, 81, of Mechanicsville, VA went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 27, 2024. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack Raybourne and Margaret Cull Raybourne of Springfield, KY, and a brother, Kenneth Raybourne of Nicholasville, KY. Jack is survived by his faithful wife of sixty-one (61) years, Patricia Teater Raybourne, a sister, Sandra Carey (Howard) of Springfield, KY, a daughter, Karen R. Pierce (David) of Monterey, VA, and a son, Kelly Raybourne (Andrea) of Versailles, KY. He is also survived by five (5) grandchildren: Kemper, Kathryn, and Kailey Ancarrow, and Parker and Olivia Raybourne.
Mr. Raybourne was raised on a farm in Springfield, KY where he attended high school and met his future wife, Patricia. Jack served in the Kentucky National Guard, and he eventually moved to Bowling Green, KY where he earned an undergraduate degree from Western Kentucky University (WKU). Following graduation from WKU, the couple moved to Blacksburg, VA where Jack obtained a master’s degree in Wildlife Management from Virginia Tech. Mr. Raybourne subsequently began a thirty (30) year career with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries as a field biologist in Augusta County, VA. Most notably, he implemented a multi-year bear study and authored several works on the subject. Jack was ultimately promoted to Director of Game for the Department, and he relocated his family to Mechanicsville, VA. He remained Director of Game until his retirement.
Mr. Raybourne was an active member of Fairmount Christian Church in Mechanicsville, VA which he attended regularly until the last months of his life. He served as a Deacon and a member of various building committees. Jack’s unique personality earned him notoriety throughout the congregation, and he loved his church family. He also carried with him a love for the outdoors, hunting, and fishing from childhood. While he enjoyed these activities, he primarily valued the opportunities they provided for him to spend time with his friends and family. Going to his friend’s camp was the ideal vacation.
Mr. Raybourne was a craftsman and an excellent woodworker – skills he learned from his father. To this day, furniture and other items that Jack created can be viewed at his church, his former workplace, and the homes of friends and family. More than anything, Mr. Raybourne enjoyed teaching his craft and sharing his knowledge with others. Jack’s willingness to assist, teach, and share inspired countless others to follow in his footsteps.
Jack Watson Raybourne loved the Lord, his wife and family, his church, his friends, and his country. He was a patriot, and he will be missed.
A memorial service is scheduled for Mr. Raybourne on February 18, 2024, at 2:30 pm at Fairmount Christian Church in Mechanicsville, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fairmount Christian Church Building Fund, P. O. Box 788, Mechanicsville, VA 23111.