Charles S. Raynor, the industrious son of Long Island farmers who went on to build a successful supermarket chain, died Friday after battling pancreatic cancer and Parkinson's disease. He was 79.
Raynor was the founder and owner of Meat Farms Markets, which he started in 1972 with three other business partners, said his wife, Patricia Raynor. After opening the flagship store in Medford, the supermarket added six other locations. The chain was sold in 1991 and has since changed hands several times. It is now known as Giunta's Meat Farms, his wife said.
"He would never ask anyone to do something he wouldn't do himself," Patricia Raynor said. "He'd be right there by their side, doing it with them."
Raynor said when he was trying to propel the fledgling business forward, 80-hour work weeks were the norm for her husband.
Charles S. Raynor was born on Sept. 19, 1933, in Southampton, growing up on a duck farm where his parents worked, his wife said. He completed the eighth grade, but never returned to school, instead opting to work and join the Navy from 1951 to 1954.
Raynor, raised in Southampton but most recently of Shoreham, was a Navy boiler technician, serving on ships throughout Europe, his wife said.
Upon leaving the Navy, Raynor worked at small food markets before deciding to venture off and start his own business.
"He was a self-made man," his wife said. "He was a proud man, and proud of himself for working his way up."
In addition to his wife, Raynor is survived by eight children; Charles "Butch", of upstate Glens Falls; Thomas of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; Jason of Brooksville, Fla.; Sheryl Perry of South Glens Falls; Nikki, Jacqueline and Patricia, all of Shoreham; and Linda, of Spring Hill, Fla. He is also survived by siblings Harold and Shirley Joslin, of Troy; Ronnie Raynor, of South Carolina; Bobbie Raynor of Glens Falls; David Raynor, of Arkansas; and Ruth Davis of Fresno, Calif.
Viewings will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, and a funeral service is scheduled for noon Tuesday, all at the Alexander-Tuthill Funeral Home, 6447 Rte. 25A in Wading River. Raynor will be buried at Calverton National Cemetery.