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William Rowe Rains
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Obituary for William Rowe Rains

William Rowe (Bill) Rains, 92, of Goldsboro, NC passed away Monday, February 5, 2018 after a brief illness.

A celebration of his life will be held Friday, February 9, 2108, with visitation at 10:00 AM in the parlor of St. Paul United Methodist Church, Goldsboro, NC followed by funeral services at 11:00 AM with Rev. Jim Harry and Rev. Phyllis Vail officiating. Burial will follow with Military Honors at the Fellowship United Methodist Church Cemetery, near Princeton, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the St. Paul United Methodist Church Music Fund.

Bill was born on October 24, 1925 near Princeton, NC to the late Hiram and Lena Rains and graduated from Kenly High School in 1942. He then served with distinction with the United States Army Air Forces in Europe from 1943 to 1945. Bill was a tailgunner on a B-24 Liberator flying missions over Germany and occupied Europe. He was awarded 2 Air Medals with oak leaf clusters, the European Theater Campaign Medal with one Silver Star, the WWII Victory Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.

After the war, Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) in Social Studies from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in 1950. In 1951, he married Ruby Lee Pittman. Bill worked as Branch Manager at the Sherwin-Williams Company in Goldsboro for 33 years. Bill retired in 1982, and Bill and Ruby enjoyed a long retirement. They traveled to reunions of his World War II unit, the 450th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force throughout the United States and Europe. Bill and Ruby have been members of St. Paul United Methodist Church and member of the J. Paul Edwards Sunday School class for nearly 60 years. Bill served the church on the administrative board and the finance committee.

Bill is survived by his wife 66 years, Ruby Pittman Rains, their children Steve Rains and wife Lois of Goldsboro, Debbie Rains Davis and husband the Reverend Will Davis of Burgaw, Tim Rains and wife Julie of Winston-Salem, and Rusty Rains of Goldsboro; Grandchildren Amanda MacDowell and husband Kelly of Cary, Jessica Legan and husband Josh of Garner, Stephanie Carter and husband Lee of Cary, Sam Rains who is currently serving as a missionary in Bangladesh, Hank Rains of Blacksburg, VA, Ariel Pattillo and husband Chase of Wilmington, and Abigail Rains of Cullowhee; Great-Grandchildren, Adelyn and Ava MacDowell and Jenna Legan and many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Hiram and Lena Rowe Rains and his brothers H.C. (Pete) Rains and John Turner (Jake) Rains, all of Kenly, NC.

The family would like to thank home health care CNAs, Arlene White and Ashley Spears for their love and compassion to Bill and the entire family.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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Previous Events





10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Paul United Methodist Church

204 E. Chestnut Street
Goldsboro, NC 27530

Funeral Service




11:00 AM
St. Paul United Methodist Church

204 E. Chestnut Street
Goldsboro, NC 27530

Cemetery Details


Fellowship Church Cemetery

5755 Rains Crossroads Road
Princeton, NC


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