Mavis St. Clair Rakestraw
August 30, 1922 – October 3, 2019
Mavis Rakestraw, 97, passed away peacefully in her home on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
On a summer's morning, August 30, 1922, she was born on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, when Kenan Stadium was built, to Gabriel William and Ali McCorkle St. Clair. In the evenings, her mother rocked her to sleep to the university's all male glee club singing Carolina Moon. She was a member of the Central High School graduating class of 1941. For ten years before she married, she had a career in the field of industrial production as an accountant and bookkeeper. She was hired for each and every position for which she applied. Mavis was proud to have been born in a family of world renown builders. Their accomplishments included the major universities, churches, and mills of the late 1800's to the early 1900's. They left a legacy of buildings, from Canada to the southern United States, that stand as strong today as the day they were built.
Our mother grew up in a close knit family who had a deep love of animals. With tears in her eyes, she often recalled memories of her beloved Airedale, "Peggy".
Our mother had compassion for all she saw and heard, and was beloved by everyone who knew her. When we were growing up, all we had to do was look at her face and our troubles would go away. She was a "Victory Belle" during World War II, and never forgot the sacrifices the American Forces endured. She was a fair and just person, completely unselfish, and devoted her whole being to her family. She had a wonderful sense of humor and really appreciated a good time. Our mother had a joy of living and remained young in every way.
Our mother handled multiple health problems with grace and dignity. While in her late nineties she handled a condition that would bring a twenty year old to their knees. It was understood by everyone who knew her that she remained competent through it all.
God took care of Mavis through questionable medical treatment and allowed her to live a full and long life. Her husband, who passed at 68, often said, "life is short". Although she was 97, the time we had with her felt far too short. We will never forget the courage, grace and dignity she had, especially during her final days. She never asked for anything from anyone. Our mother had a deep faith in God. We are proud to be her children.
We will always think of her when we hear the song entitled "Dream". This was one of her favorites. But when I think of our mother, I recall these words from the song, "I'll Be Seeing You". It was composed during WWII. It ends with, "I'll see you in the morning sun, and when the day is through, I'll be looking at the moon, but I'll be seeing you". God bless you, mother.
Mrs. Rakestraw is survived by her son, Olan Samuel Rakestraw, III and daughter, Donna Carol St. Clair Rakestraw. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Olan Samuel Rakestraw, Jr.; sister, Mary Susan St. Clair; and brothers, Gabriel William St. Clair, Jr. and Duncan David St. Clair.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 1:00 pm Saturday, October 12, 2019 at St. Patrick's Cathedral, 1621 Dilworth Rd. East, Charlotte, with Fr. Christopher Roux, celebrant. Interment will follow at Sharon Memorial Park.
- Holy Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, October 12, 2019
- Graveside Service Saturday, October 12, 2019