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Thelma Ray

December 31, 1930 — January 13, 2024

Thelma Huddleston Ray, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and sister went to her eternal resting place in the early morning hours of January 13, 2024.

Born to Pearl W. and Pollie Huddleston, Thelma entered this world along with her twin sister Zelma on December 31, 1930, in Flippin, AR. Thelma and Zelma, “the babies” and youngest of 11 children, spent their childhood on the family farm, graduating from Flippin High School in 1948. Upon graduation, Thelma and Zelma moved to Kansas City to attend the Kansas City Secretarial School. It was in Kansas City where Thelma met the young man who would become her husband, Harvey Ray. The two were wed in Bentonville, AR on December 8, 1951 and embarked on their 69-year journey. Harvey’s military service took them out of the area for a short time, but they moved back to Kansas City after his discharge and in 1953 welcomed their first daughter, Cynthia. During the next 10 years, daughters Rebecca and Lisa were born, and the family moved to their permanent residence in Raytown. Thelma truly made their house a home in every aspect from the home’s décor, to their spectacular flower gardens, as well as countless family meals. But it was her love of music that is among the warmest of memories. Whether she was joining Harvey in a hymn or two while doing the dishes, singing a ditty to her grandkids, or spending a few minutes at the piano on a Saturday afternoon, Thelma always carried a song in her heart. A longtime member of Westport United Methodist Church, she enjoyed singing as part the church choir. Thelma lived her life as an example of faith, grace, patience, curiosity, and humility, working tirelessly to nurture and care for her family yet making it seem so effortless.

Thelma worked outside the home as well, joining Farm & Home Savings in 1970 as a teller. Her dedication and hard work were recognized in 1988 when she was promoted to Vice President. She retired after nearly 20 years of service.

She is survived by daughters Cynthia Walker (Michael), Rebecca Leith (Stephen), and Lisa Cornelison (Jack); seven grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, sister Ruth Wood, brother Hardy Huddleston, sister Theo McNemar, sister Rachel Vanzandt, sister Guyla Wood, brother Walton Huddleston, sister Dollie Mae Benton, baby sister Mary Nevalee Huddleston, and brother Loyal Wayne Huddleston.

The family wishes to thank the nurses and caregivers at John Knox Village Care Center for caring for Thelma these last five years, ensuring she was comfortable and happy.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Village Hospice Care, or a charity of your own choice.

Mom, Grandma, Mamoo ... we love you “a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”

A graveside service will be held on Thursday, May 2nd at 12pm at Longview Cemetery

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thelma Ray, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Graveside Service

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

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