Services for Helen Virginia Turley Ray, 86, formerly of Emory, were held on January 11 for her immediate family.
Mrs. Ray died on January 8, 2020, in Diamondhead, Miss., surrounded by her family in her home. She was born on January 19, 1933. She was a native of Emory and lived in Diamondhead for the last three years. Her life was a living example of her favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 4:32 – “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
She was a dedicated mother, first and foremost. She treasured her children and embraced every moment with them, often going on cruises with her daughters. She especially loved her role as Mema to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had a vivacious personality and always made people around her laugh, and she made friends everywhere she went.
Mrs. Ray was an herbologist and iridologist, and enjoyed instructing and practicing metaphysical light training. Her hobbies included being a colorist, artist, jewelry maker, stain-glass creation master, and reading. Known for her charm, intelligence, and wit, her smile was infectious and could light up a room.
She often advised her children and grandchildren through the use of quotes. The family said her most famous quote was, “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy, because you can never be both. Let that guide your decisions.” Her words of encouragement, wisdom and sometimes comfort, kept us in line, taught us the school of hard knocks and gave us something to pass down to our children.
Mrs. Ray is survived by daughters, Janis Caylen Ray of Dallas, Robby Cook Stroud of Diamondhead, Miss., Dr. Melissa Carol Caudle and husband Gary Michael of Kenner, La.; brother, Tom Turley; sisters, Martha Knight and Judy Sterling; daughter-in-law, Christine Martin; nine grandchildren, Shannon Ray Croft, Cristi Caylen Ray, Erin Natasha Wright, Kelly Rae Caudle, Jamie Alyson Dwyer, James Loy Cook II, Dylan Ray Stroud, Taylor Jonathan Stroud, Noah Dreifus; and 13 great-grandchildren, Joshua Scott, Nicholas Scott, Ashlyn Bolin, Stamatis Gamvrogianis, Elias Gamvrogianis, Jaden Cheatum, Roger Miguel Molina III, Blythe Helen Cheatum, Jon Axle Dwyer, Aryc Lucian Dwyer, James Loy Cook III, Harmony Rae Dreifus, and Haxson Dreifus.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, William W. Ray; parents, Henry Turley and Virginia Ray Turley; son, Dennis W. Martin; daughter, Livia Lynn Martin; and sister, Joanne Coker Day.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center (Lung Cancer Fund) at gifts.mdanderson.org in the name of Helen Virginia Ray.
Services were under the direction of Rieman Family Funeral Home in Pass Christian, Miss., www.riemannfamily.com.