BENTON -- Essie Marie Ray, 81, formerly of East Prairie, died at 2:15 Dec. 19, 2006, at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau.
Born April 15, 1925, at East Prairie, daughter of the late John Louis and Ethel Gertrude Woods Buttery, she was a member of Unity Baptist Church in Benton.
On Sept. 3, 1939, in New Madrid, she married Auda Cecil "A.C." Ray, who died May 11, 1996.
She was also preceded in death by: three daughters, Frances Donze, Joyce Merick and Lavonna Ray; and one brother, three sisters and one grandson.
Survivors include: five sons and daughters-in-law: Herman and Cindy Ray of Olive Branch, Ill., Dale and Pat Ray of Lilbourn, Bruce and Debbie Ray and Danny and Darlene Ray, all of Benton, and Lynn and Sheila Ray of Sikeston; a special friend, Florence Taylor of Benton; and 25 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston, where services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday. The Rev. Dale Huff will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Dennis Lowe of Unity Baptist Church.
Graveside services will follow at the Dogwood Cemetery. The Rev. Larry Davis of Sikeston will officiate.
Pallbearers will be: Randy Merick, Tim Dambach, Cecil Ray, Butch Price, Lance Donze and Jason Ray.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Jr. Merick and Phil Childress.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
Unity Baptist Church 4846 State Highway 77 Benton, MO 63736