Our beloved mother, Jessie Nichols Ray, of Hillsborough, NC, was called to Heaven on May 29, 2020, just one day after her 90th birthday. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her as she had a true servant's heart and always thought of others before herself. Jessie was born on May 28, 1930, in Efland, NC, to the late Robert B. and Carrie M. Nichols. She grew up in Efland and graduated from Mebane High School, Class of 1948. She was proud to be part of the Alamance County Girls Basketball Championship Teams of 1946, 1947, and 1948 and was inducted into The Mebane Sports Hall of Fame for her accomplishments on the basketball team.
Jessie graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from UNC-Greensboro in 1952. Upon graduation, she spent her entire 40 year working career as a dedicated employee and manager for Central Carolina Farmers (later FCX). In the 1960s, she was instrumental in ushering in the computer age to her company and learned to operate and program the first and subsequent computers for payroll and accounting at CCF. She enjoyed her work and all her coworkers and kept up with many of them long after her retirement. Jessie was a member of Cedar Grove UMC and appreciated her church family.
Jessie's greatest joy was her family. She was a dedicated wife for 64 years to her late husband, William C. Ray, and a loving, sweet mother to her three surviving children: Cynthia R. Barlow (Gary) of Fernandina Beach, FL, Robert W. Ray of Jefferson, NC, and Kenneth R. Ray (Sandra) of Hillsborough, NC. She also leaves behind her four beloved granddaughters, Allison B. Mabrey (Mike), Ashley Reynolds, Caroline Barlow, and Courtney Ray, and five great-granddaughters, Emma, Lily, Amelia, Elizabeth, and Violet Mabrey. All of them brought her great joy. Jessie is also survived by her sister, Edna B. Poole of Efland, NC, her brother and sister-in-law, Robert B. and Margaret M. Nichols of Hillsborough, NC, and many much-loved nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express a special thank you to the Cedar Grove and Walnut Grove UMC church families for their love and support through the years, to Jessie's Lillies of Hope caregivers, to the Orange County Sheriff's Department for their many visits and calls, and to the Alamance/Caswell Hospice organization, Authoricare, for end-of-life support.
Walker's Funeral Home of Hillsborough, NC, is handling final arrangements for the family. Please share memories and condolences online at walkersfuneralservice.com. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private interment will be held at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Flowers and/or donations in Jessie's memory are welcome. Donations may be made to Cedar Grove United Methodist Church by mailing a check to Cedar Grove UMC, P.O. Box 138, Cedar Grove, NC 27231 and write "Jessie Ray Memorial Fund" in the memo section of your check.