During that time, the older brother, Bill, split his business duties with his public life - as a state senator and later as Northern District Transportation commissioner. Ray stayed out of the public life.
But with the untimely death of his brother on Nov. 1, that has changed. Ray Minor, 66, is running in the Jan. 11 special election to replace his brother on the Transportation Commission.
It will mark the first time he has run for political office.
"I am running to keep going what my brother had started," said Ray, who along with Bill started a plumbing, heating and air-conditioning business that later became hardware stores in Holly Springs and Olive Branch. "I want to see those roads completed - the four-lane roads and some other things."
Minor, who lives in Marshall County, eight miles from Holly Springs, is one of seven candidates vying to replace his brother in the Jan. 11 special election. If no candidate obtains a majority vote in the Jan. 11 election, a runoff will be held Feb. 1.
"These are tough times for us as a family, but we can't afford to pull back," said Minor, whose wife, the former Margie Ann Smith of Marshall County, died in October 2009.
Minor said he believes that observing his brother, combined with his business experience, will provide him the expertise to see to fruition such projects as the four-laning of U.S. Highway 15, the completion of the process to ensure interstate designation for U.S. Highway 78 and other projects.
Plus, after talking to county supervisors, he said it is crucial to ensure more state help is provided for local road and bridge projects.
He said that he, like his brother, believes a good infrastructure is key to economic development.
The Minor brothers grew up and graduated from high school in Hickory Flat. Ray Minor also attended Northwest Community College.
He and his late wife have three children and three grandchildren.
The special election is nonpartisan, but the winner will have to stand for re-election in November. At that point, candidates will either participate in a party primary in the summer or run as an independent or third-party candidate on the November general election ballot.
When asked what party he would run in later in 2011 for the full four-year term, Minor said, "we will cross that bridge when we get there."
Bill Minor was a Democrat.
Contact Bobby Harrison at (601) 353-3119 or firstname.lastname@example.org.