Mr. William Russell Rainey (Rusty, Russ) died peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones after a lengthy illness on Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Born and raised in Virginia Beach VA, Russ was an Eagle Scout, and avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed spending time with his family, sailing, the beach, swimming, riding his motorcycle, racing, and his passion was freeing the oppressed. He received his B.S degree in health science from Campbell University. He spent a significant part of his adult life in the United States Army as a Green Beret, 7th Special Forces Group(A)18D combat medic. Upon retiring from the US Army, Russ continued his work as a Green Beret, training ANA national soldiers in Afghanistan until he became too ill. Russ received the bronze star medal for his work in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He also received three army commendation medals, five army achievement medals, six army good conduct medals, two national defense service medals, the global war on terrorism medal. Russ turned down a silver star when he attempted to save his teammate. In his words, “There shouldn’t be a medal awarded for something you are expected to do.”
Left to cherish his memory, are his wife JoAnne Rainey; daughters Alisha Earl, Kailie Ilarraza; son Colby Rainey; and son-in-law Bernardo (Tito) Ilarraza, all of Raeford. His parents William and Jo Ann (Wynne) Rainey of Virginia Beach VA; Father-in-law Robert (Judy) Pautz; brother Thomas Rainey; sisters-in-law Amy (Peter) Hansen and Mary Pautz; brother-in-law Daniel Pautz; three precious grandchildren, Adrianna, Emilia, and Eli Ilarraza; Aunts Peggy (Ralph) McGhee, Jackie (Barny) Bernard, Louise Rainey Rogers, Virginia Miller Rainey Thomas, and Barbara Pautz; Uncle Lewis (Greta) Rainey; nephews Ryan (Sarah) Pautz, Devin Collin Hansen, Jack, Sam, and Ian Rainey; niece Mary Rainey, and many close cousins and friends. Special mention to his SF ODA Brothers for whom he would have given his life.
He is preceded in death by his beloved maternal grandmothers Adell Wynne, and paternal grandmother Mina Bullock Rainey; Uncles Albert Rainey, John (Jack) Rainey, Melvin (Butch) Rogers, Hugh Cash, and Graham Cash; Mother-in-law Lynn Ann Pautz; and Nephew Collin David Hansen.
All gave some, some gave all. TIL VALHALLA.
The service will be graveside on Monday, October 3, 2022, at 12 pm at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.