OBITUARY

Martha Sue Ray

February 22, 1931April 21, 2021
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Martha Sue Ray

February 22, 1931- April 21, 2021

Martha Sue Ray was born on February 22, 1931 to Robert Henderson and Lovie McCullough in the White Zion Community of Pontotoc County, MS. She passed away on April 21, 2021 at age 90. Her life was marked by her family's experience with the “Great Tupelo Tornado of 1936.” when her family simultaneously lost their home and General Store business to the storm. Miraculously, they were all blown over 100 yards from the location of the house and suffered only minor injuries. This experience had a profound influence on her all of her life.

Martha began her education at the Zion School where she attended until transferring to Pontotoc High School graduating in 1950. She was an active participant in many school activities. She was a farm wife and a homemaker. She married Billy Rex Ray in 1950 and had two sons, Robert A. (Bob) Ray and Gregory Rex Ray. She performed all the duties of a farm wife in those early years transporting field hands, completing payroll and serving as what could best be described as an employee health nurse to the families who lived and share-cropped on the farm. All of this she did while gardening and caring for the needs of her family. Later in life she was best known for her remarkable service to family members who were aged or succumbing to illness.

From an early age she displayed a musical talent and began to study piano with a community teacher, Mrs. Blanche King, matriculating to Miss Vera Simon's instruction later during middle school years. For more than thirty years she served as the pianist/organist in a wide variety of church programs.

Martha worked briefly outside the home employed by The First National Bank of Pontotoc. She made several life-long friends during these years which led her to relish her voluntary service to The First Choice Bank as a proxy voter at meetings of The Board of Directors for the institution. She enjoyed following the bank's progress and growth over the years and the careers of her friends who remained in the bank's employ.

Services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 24, 2021, at the Zion Baptist Church with Reverenn Truman Scarborough officiating. Burial will follow at the Zion Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to service time. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc is honored to assist the family with the arrangements.

Martha is survived by her sons: Bob (Debbie) Ray of Pontotoc and Greg (Ann) Ray of Tupelo. She is also survived by five grandchildren; Evan (Christy) Ray of Houston, TX, Dr. Jordan (Lili) Ray of Atlanta, GA, Whitney (Kyle) Hood of Birmingham, AL, Lauren Ray of Tupelo and Heston (Dr. Ashley) Ray of Macon, GA. and her beloved great-grandchildren; Harper Ray, Charlotte Ray, Stella Ray, Houston Ray, Henderson Ray, Evaleigh Ray, Griffin Ray and James Ray; and a special caregiver, Inez Keith.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Billy Rex Ray. Pallbearers will be her grandsons: Evan, Jordan and Heston Ray, along with Kyle Hood, Van Ray and Patrick Ray. Honorary pallbearer will be Larry Gill.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN and the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery fund.

Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com

  • FAMILY

  • Robert A. "Bob" Ray (Debbie), Son
  • Gregory Rex "Greg" Ray (Ann), Grandson
  • Evan Ray (Christy), Grandson
  • Dr. Jordan Ray (Lili), Grandson
  • Whitney Ray Hood (Kyle), Granddaughter
  • Lauren Ray, Granddaughter
  • Heston Ray (Dr. Ashley), Grandson
  • Harper Ray, Great Granddaughter
  • Charlotte Ray, Great Granddaughter
  • Stella Ray, Great Granddaughter
  • Henderson Ray, Great Grandson
  • Evaleigh Ray, Great Granddaughter
  • Griffin Ray, Great Grandson
  • James Ray, Great Grandson
  • Robert Henderson McCullough, Father (deceased)
  • Lovie Nichols McCullough, Mother (deceased)
  • Billy Rex Ray, Husband (deceased)
  • Inez Keith, Special Caregiver
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Evan Ray
  • Jordan Ray
  • Heston Ray
  • Kyle Hood
  • Van Ray
  • Patrick Ray
  • Larry Gill, Honorary
  • DONATIONS

  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Zion Baptist Church Cemetey Fund

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, April 24, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, April 24, 2021

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Martha Sue Ray

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Biography

Martha Sue Ray

February 22, 1931- April 21, 2021


Martha Sue Ray was born on February 22, 1931 to Robert Henderson and Lovie McCullough in the White Zion Community of Pontotoc County, MS. She passed away on April 21, 2021 at age 90. Her life was marked by her family's experience with the “Great Tupelo Tornado of 1936.” when her family simultaneously lost their home and General Store business to the storm. Miraculously, they were all blown over 100 yards from the location of the house and suffered only minor injuries. This experience had a profound influence on her all of her life.

Martha began her education at the Zion School where she attended until transferring to Pontotoc High School graduating in 1950. She was an active participant in many school activities. She was a farm wife and a homemaker. She married Billy Rex Ray in 1950 and had two sons, Robert A. (Bob) Ray and Gregory Rex Ray. She performed all the duties of a farm wife in those early years transporting field hands, completing payroll and serving as what could best be described as an employee health nurse to the families who lived and share-cropped on the farm. All of this she did while gardening and caring for the needs of her family. Later in life she was best known for her remarkable service to family members who were aged or succumbing to illness.

From an early age she displayed a musical talent and began to study piano with a community teacher, Mrs. Blanche King, matriculating to Miss Vera Simon's instruction later during middle school years. For more than thirty years she served as the pianist/organist in a wide variety of church programs.

Martha worked briefly outside the home employed by The First National Bank of Pontotoc. She made several life-long friends during these years which led her to relish her voluntary service to The First Choice Bank as a proxy voter at meetings of The Board of Directors for the institution. She enjoyed following the bank's progress and growth over the years and the careers of her friends who remained in the bank's employ.

Services are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 24, 2021, at the Zion Baptist Church with Reverenn Truman Scarborough officiating. Burial will follow at the Zion Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. to service time. Browning Funeral Home in Pontotoc is honored to assist the family with the arrangements.

Martha is survived by her sons: Bob (Debbie) Ray of Pontotoc and Greg (Ann) Ray of Tupelo. She is also survived by five grandchildren; Evan (Christy) Ray of Houston, TX, Dr. Jordan (Lili) Ray of Atlanta, GA, Whitney (Kyle) Hood of Birmingham, AL, Lauren Ray of Tupelo and Heston (Dr. Ashley) Ray of Macon, GA. and her beloved great-grandchildren; Harper Ray, Charlotte Ray, Stella Ray, Houston Ray, Henderson Ray, Evaleigh Ray, Griffin Ray and James Ray; and a special caregiver, Inez Keith.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Billy Rex Ray. Pallbearers will be her grandsons: Evan, Jordan and Heston Ray, along with Kyle Hood, Van Ray and Patrick Ray. Honorary pallbearer will be Larry Gill.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN and the Zion Baptist Church Cemetery fund.

Condolences may be offered at www.browningpontotoc.com