LaNelle Ray

November 7, 1938 ~ April 2, 2021 (age 82)


A family graveside service to honor and celebrate the life of LaNelle Ray will take place in the Bixby Cemetery. LaNelle passed away on Friday, April 2, 2021 in Bixby. She was 82.

On November 7, 1938, LaNelle (Williams) Ray was the first of four children born to Estul and Wilma (Dees) Williams. Growing up in her birth community, of Texarkana, Texas, LaNelle attended school there and it would also be the place where she met the love of her life, William “Noel” Ray, Jr. This happy couple married on January 3, 1957 at Highland Park Baptist Church in Texarkana. LaNelle remembered their ceremony as being beautiful and it was certainly the beginning of an even more beautiful life together!

LaNelle and Noel not only lived together, they worked together too. Making their home in Magnolia, Arkansas, they established an interior design and drapery business. The setting of Magnolia allowed both their business and family to thrive. It was there they made many close friends and enjoyed many wonderful years.

Leaving Magnolia for Tulsa, Oklahoma, so that Noel could attend Victory Bible Institute, the Rays also decided to start a new business in Tulsa, called The Drapery Works. This was a venture that lasted for more than 40 years before they decided to retire and sell. Tulsa would also bring many wonderful years and memories to the Ray family.

Creative, talented, private, and quiet are all words that help to describe LaNelle. She expressed her creativity through oil painting, flower arranging, and sewing anything she set her mind to. LaNelle was a devoted wife who supported and cared for her husband deeply. LaNelle was also a loving and caring mother and as life brought her grandchildren, she became an extremely proud “Gran”!

A woman with a true servant’s heart, there is no doubt that her family could count on her no matter the task that was at hand. In fact, if something needed to be done, LaNelle was often the one who quietly rolled up her sleeves and got to work.

LaNelle passed from this life on Friday, April 2, 2021 in Bixby. She was 82.

She is survived by: her four children: Tene’ Goyer (Tim), Cammie Hambrice (Ronny), Mark Ray (Kelly), Danielle Vincent (Joe); nine grandchildren: Hillary Bokker (Adam), Jeremy Hambrice (Mandy), Juilanna Driscoll (Cody), Savannah Vincent, Parker Vincent (Naudia), Anna Rholeder (Charlie), Will Whitehead (Jennie Marie), Elizbeth Ray, Jonathan Ray; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters: Betty Eckley and Eva Gail Baker. She is also survived by numerous other relatives and friends.
LaNelle was preceded in death by her husband, William “Noel” Ray, Jr. and by an infant brother, John Calvin Williams.

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