Cover photo for Ray Christopher “Chris” Talley Sr.'s Obituary

Ray Christopher “Chris” Talley Sr.

September 1, 1948 — June 28, 2022

Ray Christopher “Chris” Talley Sr.


Ray Christopher “Chris” Talley Sr. (aka Pop-pop) passed away on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022. In death he is reunited with his best friend and wife of 53 years, Kaye Mansell Talley. Chris never wanted to be the source of sorrow and requested that a celebration of life be held in place of a traditional funeral. Instead, a classic southern cook-out will be held in both Chris and Kaye Talley’s honor in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, Chris wished for those looking to make a memorial tribute do so by donating to the American Heart Association.

Chris was born in Seneca, South Carolina on September 1, 1948, just two days before his high school sweetheart and eventual wife. Kaye was famously running late for their first date, but Chris waited dutifully and patiently, as was his nature. Kaye and Chris married on June 16, 1967 in Alpharetta, Georgia, where they would go on to raise a family. Chris is a veteran of the US Navy and served aboard the USS Shangri-La during the Vietnam War, March 1970-June 1971. Serving his country during wartime was something he was most proud of. Upon completing his service, Chris began working with his father in a family-owned construction business. Later he joined Pyramid Masonry Contractors as a construction foreman.  Chris helped to build notable Atlanta landmarks such as Turner Field and the Church of the Apostles. At home, Chris was known for growing excellent tomatoes, corn, and peppers every summer. At the end of a hard day’s work, Chris liked to quietly relax in his recliner with an ice cold beer, He was always ready with a smile and a listening ear for anyone that turned up!

Chris was known for his quiet intelligence, resilience, and kindness. He would do anything for his beloved wife without complaint and was not one to ask for help. Friends, family, and colleagues loved him for his strong character: he was reliable, levelheaded, and dedicated. Though he was not known for being talkative, Chris would occasionally come out with hilarious and unexpected one-liners. He was a joy to have around.

Chris is preceded in death by his wife, Kaye Mansell Talley, parents Ruby (Owens) and William “Bill” Talley of Alpharetta, GA, his grandparents Christopher Talley and Lola (Hudson) of Richland, SC, and Abbey Vera (Smith) and Charley Owens of Alpharetta, GA.

He is survived by his two children, son Ray (Lesley) Talley of Cumming, GA, daughter Stacy (Kevin) Ventresca of Kennesaw, GA, five grandchildren Brandon (Lindsey) Talley, Blake Talley, Hayden Ventresca, Tristan Ventresca, Jonas Ventresca, and two great-grandchildren Connor and Kylyn Talley. Chris is also survived by two beloved sisters, Linda (Alan) Robeson of Dawsonville, GA and Judy Allen of Alpharetta, GA.

To Ray and Stacy: Chris was so grateful you both for making him a grandfather (and by extension, a great-grandfather). He loved teaching you to hunt, fish, and grow vegetables. He was so proud of you both for your intelligence, persistence, and humor. You drove your parents crazy with your rebellions, shenanigans, and sibling arguments, but nothing in this life meant more to them than their family. They were grateful for the constant entertainment and colorful personalities (both of which persisted in your children and grandchildren).

Some ways you can honor Chris’ memory:

  • Hang a bird feeder.
  • Grow something edible or plant pollinator-friendly flowers.
  • Try to listen more and speak less. Ask your loved ones about their pets, friends, job, and hobbies.
  • When something breaks, learn how to fix it yourself.
  • Sit on the porch and enjoy the sunshine. Beer encouraged but not required.
  • Hug your kids or grandbabies.
  • Hold open the door for someone.
  • Buy a decent pair of jeans (not the spandex-nonsense that passes for jeans these days) and wear holes into them.
  • Think of him every time you pass that big ole church on 75.

I, I'm a streetlight shining
I'm a wild light blinding bright
Burning off and on

It's times like these you learn to live again
It's times like these you give and give again
It's times like these you learn to love again
It's times like these time and time again

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ray Christopher “Chris” Talley Sr., please visit our flower store.


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