Mary Evelyn Russell

January 3, 1927December 22, 2012

Russell, Mary Evelyn Hays Ray, born January 3, 1927 and passed away December 22, 2012 at the age of 85. Our mother suffered with arthritis pain and its debilitating effects along with Progressive Dementia (Alzheimer’s) for several years. She is resting peacefully without pain after her long fight. We will miss her tremendously. She was preceded in death by her parents, Tom and Nancy Hays of Hayden, AL; brother, Horace Hayes; sister, Emma Jean Hays Calvert; her husband of 28 years, Samuel J. Ray; her husband of 26 years, Clarence Earl Russell. She is survived by her brother, Harold Hays of Hanceville and her children, Aaron (Brenda) Ray of Trussville, Donna (Jim) Cockrell of Gardendale, Charlie (Donna) Ray of Hayden; grandchildren, Angela (Jerry) Dingler, Jodi (Jason) Cook, Jimmy (Stephanie) Cockrell, Shannon (Shea) Layton, Jonathan (Rayne) Ray, Christopher (Kristin) Ray, Meleah (Stephen) Yates; great-grandchildren, Robin Spurger, Levi & Hayley Cook, Dakota, Dillion & Drew Layton, Abby, Kaitlyn & Caleb Cockrell, Zachary & Faith Dingler, Casey Ray and Kaleb Dunson & Bryleigh Ray including numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends. She enjoyed her job in the food service industry, especially as a lunchroom worker at Tarrant High School. She was also employed at Gardendale Grammar School, Trussville Elementary, Howard College (Samford), and Stewart Sandwiches. She was a member at Pineywood Baptist Church and past member of Central Baptist, Tarrant Heights and Ketona. She was a long time resident of Tarrant and Gardendale areas. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama. Visitation will be Wednesday, December 26th from 6 until 8 pm at Ridout’s Gardendale Chapel with chapel services Thursday, December 27th at 2 pm. Interment will follow in Hayden Church of God Cemetery on Highway 160.


  • Visitation Wednesday, December 26, 2012
  • Funeral Service Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mary Evelyn Russell

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Donna Cockrell

January 6, 2013

Evelyn Ray Russell

January 6, 2013

Christmas 2011

Donna Cockrell

January 6, 2013

Dawn Johnson

January 3, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with you in the coming days. She was such a special lady and had such a beautiful smile.

Lisa Jenkins

January 2, 2013

Mawmaw you was one of the sweetest ladies that I have ever met. You always welcomed me with open arms. Your smile was brighter than the sun. I loved talking to you about the great life we had in Tarrant. I love you and will miss you so much.

Aaron Ray

December 28, 2012

One my nieces, Shannon remembered this poem that my mother desired to be read at her funeral. By the blessing and guidance of God, the minister conducting the funeral service found this poem when the family could not. He shared it today at mother's funeral. Praise God how he takes us and uses us even when we are unaware. Here's the poem:

Miss Me, But Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free!
Miss me a little, but not for long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go!
For this a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone;
It's all a part of the master's plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know,
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds,
Miss me, but let me go.

Robyn Rancman

Shelley Hill

December 26, 2012

Mrs. Ray was, as u know, my other mother. I've never known a sweeter, funnier, vibrant lady. She could always make me laugh! Like Donna told, her mom lit up a room by just walking in it, I will miss her so much, but she is singing with the angels! Our lives are sweeter just from knowing her...Heaven is sweeter now! My heart and prayers are with y'all. Mrs Ray has had a heavenly healing. I know she is smiling down on us y'all and all your sweet family.

December 26, 2012

I will remember Mrs. Russell for several reasons: For being Aaron's sweet mother; my mother's (Pauline Bowen) kind and caring friend and neighbor; that warm smile she gave all the children at school and the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. God blessed the Ray and Bowen families when he made them our mothers. ... Patricia Bowen Goodwin, Pinson, AL

December 26, 2012

Dear Aaron and Donna. May you be comforted in your grief. God Bless You. Al and Vicki McGowen

Bettye Howell-Clark

December 26, 2012

I am so sorry for your loss of your precious mother! I pray that you will have many happy memories of her to help console you and your families over the coming days and weeks. Sympathy and prayers to each of you!
Tarrant High School Grad 1968