Carl J. “CJ” Rayburn 81 of Whiteland, IN passed away Saturday January 1, 2022 at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis, IN. Born in King’s Mountain, Ky on April 26 1940 to Delmar and Alma (Spears) Rayburn, he was spoiled by his older sister Joyce (Rayburn) Gaskin and began his racing career albeit outside the law in the hills of Kentucky as a young man.
After relocating to Indiana in search of opportunity, work involved Arvin, DX and Sunoco Service Stations. His hobby and love for racing quickly shifted to a primary venture as an automotive engine builder eventually progressing into manufacturing chassis for asphalt and dirt track racing. Many were the days where Judy and the girl’s spent hours at the station while CJ burned the midnight oil. He took a leap of faith when he started his engine business.
He always looked out for the little guys, those who raced simply for the love of the sport. Everyone who knew him had a story. He was often described as eccentric and known for his racing innovations. He always had a bed to spare and a meal to share. He gave opportunities to many, a home, jobs, sponsorship, the use of his car, truck, bed, meal, motorhome, house or shop.
His accomplishments were recognized by many. He was a Kentucky Colonel, Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash, Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame, an inaugural member of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame, many lifetime achievement awards presented by numerous racing and engineering organizations.
Survivors include his children Eva Goeb (Don) of Franklin, IN, Carla Rayburn (Billy Moyer) of Lake Havasu City, AZ, Kim Rayburn (Steve Wagers) of Franklin, IN, Christian Rayburn of Whiteland, IN, Shawna King of Franklin, IN and Kurston Chandler Rayburn of Scottsdale, AZ, grandchildren Donny Goeb (Miranda), Justin Shaw, Emily Fricke (Rob), Haley Pohl, Sam Pohl, Trevor Rayburn (Kindra Sizemore), Jackson Flater, Ross Wagers (Abigail), Billy Moyer Jr. (Skyla), great grandchildren Lily, Mikey, Maisie, Caleb, RJ, Isaac, Ben, Sofia, Noah, Daisy, Caydon, Hallie and his “Magic” sister Joyce Gaskin of Hustonville, KY.
He was preceded in death by his parents Delmar and Alma Beatrice (Spears) Rayburn, beloved ex-wife Judy Gail (Popplewell) Rayburn and nephew Jeffrey Clements.
Chaplain Charles Stanley will conduct a service on Friday, January 7, 2022 at 10 AM at Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center 300 South U.S. 31 (Morton Street) in Franklin, IN and will be live-streamed at www.swartzmortuary.com at carl-rayburn. Friends may call Thursday January 6, 2022 from 4PM until 8PM at the mortuary.
A service will also be conducted by Pastor Johnny Maupin on Saturday January 8, 2022 at 1PM at McKinney-Brown Funeral Home 752 Campbellsville Street in Liberty, Kentucky with visitation from 11AM until service time. Burial will follow at Yosemite First Baptist Church Cemetery in Yosemite, Kentucky.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Franciscan Health Foundation 5255 East Stop 11 Road Suite 245 Indianapolis, IN 46237 or at www.franciscanhealthfoundation.org.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.swartzmortuary.com. Information 317-738-0202. Local arrangements entrusted to McKinney-Brown Funeral Home. www.mckinneybrown.com.
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