Jimmy Ray, 96, a resident of Cleveland, passed away Tuesday morning, Nov. 7, 2017, in a local hospital.
He was born Oct. 8, 1921, in Blytheville, Ark., 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, Ark., Mildred Holmes of Blytheville, Ark., Marie Adams of St. Louis, Mo., Willie Merritt, Tommy Ray, and Robert Ray, all of Blytheville, and Dr. Mauldin Ray of Tulsa, Okla., also preceded him in death.
He met his wife, Eveline Nesselrodt, at Lee College in Sevierville, 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. With the Pathway Church of God, he served as Sunday school teacher, Sunday school superintendent, church clerk and choir director. He 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, and Christina Clevenger, and her husband, Zach, all of Cleveland, Blake Ray, and his wife, Kelli, of Cartersville, Ga., Matthew Keyt, and his wife, Kayla, of Tipp City, Ohio, and 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.Va., Roger Nesselrodt, and his wife, Wanda, and Maxine Nelson, all of Arthur, W.Va., Betty Feaster and Sandra Kay Mauzy, and her husband, Lonnie, all of Petersburg, W.Va.; and numerous loving nieces and nephews.
The Remembrance of Life service will be conducted Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at 1 p.m. from 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 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 http://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, TN 37320-3450.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home.
Share your condolences and your memories with the Ray family at www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com.
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