Jimmy Ray, 96, a resident of Cleveland, passed away Tuesday morning in a local hospital.
Mr. Ray was born October 8, 1921 in Blytheville, Arkansas and he was the son of the late Ella Mae Brackin Ray and Thomas Ray.
His wife, Eveline Nesselrodt Ray, and his sisters and brothers, Beatrice Ray, Demetria Cassidy, Minnie Moore, all of Huffman, Arkansas, Mildred Holmes of Blytheville, Arkansas, Marie Adams of St. Louis, Missouri, Willie Merritt, Tommy Ray, Robert Ray all of Blytheville, Arkansas and Dr. Mauldin Ray of Tulsa, Oklahoma also preceded him in death.
Mr. Ray met his wife Eveline Nesselrodt at Lee College in Sevierville, Tennessee in 1948. They were happily married for 47 years until her death in 2002. He was involved in farming and agriculture most of his life and he retired from Gee Agri Business in Arkansas after more than 30 years of service. His true passion was his family and serving his church in Blytheville, Arkansas. With the Pathway Church of God, he served as Sunday School Teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Church Clerk and Choir Director. Mr. Ray also enjoyed working in his flower garden. Since moving to Cleveland, he has been a faithful member of the Westmore Church of God.
Survivors include his daughter, Melissa Keyt Quayle and her husband Mike of Ooltewah, his son, Barry Ray and his wife Iris of Cleveland, his grandchildren, Brooke Schelich and her husband Chris of Cleveland, Blake Ray and his wife Kelli of Cartersville, Ga., Christina Clevenger and her husband Zach of Cleveland, Matthew Keyt and his wife Kayla of Tipp City, Ohio, Tiffany Byram and her husband Nate of Nashville, his great grandchildren, Sophia Schelich and Madelyn Keyt, his brothers and sisters in law, Robert Nesselrodt of Keyser, W.V., Roger Nesselrodt and his wife Wanda of Arthur, W.V., Betty Feaster of Petersburg, W.V., Maxine Nelson of Arthur, W.V. and Sandra Kay Mauzy and her husband Lonnie of Petersburg, W.V., and numerous loving nieces and nephews also survive.
The Remembrance of Life Service will be conducted Friday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. at the Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services North Ocoee Chapel with Pastor Kelvin Page officiating. Interment will follow in the Sunset Memorial Gardens with Matthew Keyt, Blake Ray, Chris Schelich, Nate Byram, Zach Clevenger and Brian Little serving as casket bearers.
The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jim and Eveline Ray Memorial Scholarship at Lee University. The scholarship will be awarded to a future Lee University student. Memorials can be made online at https://leeuniversity.edu/alumni/give.aspx. From the drop down menu please choose "Endowed Scholarships" and type "Jim & Eveline Ray Memorial" in the "Other Comments" box. Checks can be written to Lee University with Jim Ray Memorial Fund listed on the memo line and mailed to Lee University, University Relations, P. O. Box 3450 Cleveland, Tennessee 37320-3450.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday at the Jim Rush Funeral and Cremation Services North Ocoee Chapel who has charge of the arrangements.
You may share your condolences and your memories with the Ray family at www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com.