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Hazel Marie (Ray) Rice, better known to most as HayRee, was born Tuesday, July 7, 1953, to Perry Wilmer Ray and Thomasine Whitworth Ray in Helena, Arkansas. Hazel left her earthly home on Thursday, February 23, with ... Read More
Hazel Marie (Ray) Rice, better known to most as HayRee, was born Tuesday, July 7, 1953, to Perry Wilmer Ray and Thomasine Whitworth Ray in Helena, Arkansas. Hazel left her earthly home on Thursday, February 23, with her loving family at her side.
HayRee was one of sixteen siblings, nine paternal and maternal siblings and six from her father’s previous marriage. She had an overwhelming love for her entire family, and it showed in everything she did.
On July 24, 1970, she married Edward (Buddy) Rice, and she spent the remaining 53 years of her life faithfully and happily together with him. In 1989 she gave birth to her one and only daughter Lesley.
HayRee received her bachelor's degree in education from UAPB where she graduated with honors. She spent her 30-year career employed at Dollarway School District and retired in 2007.
She enjoyed being a member of the Quilters Guild and made numerous quilts throughout the years as gifts for friends and family. Volunteering for the American Red Cross, the Delta Rivers Nature Center, and the White Hall Nursing Home were among her favorite things to do.
She loved taking trips with her sisters, and traveling anywhere she could. She enjoyed frequent cookouts and adventures with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and grandbabies as well. Anytime someone said, “do you want to go……?” the answer was “YES! You want to take my ride or yours?”
Born into the Church of Christ, she stayed true to her roots and remained a faithful member of the church until she went to be with her heavenly father. Her love for the Lord was evident in how she lived her life. She was the perfect example of what being a Christian should consist of. She never complained. When asked how she was doing she would reply with “doing pretty good,” even when she wasn’t. She would say this because even at the worst of it, she knew that she was indeed good because God had her, and she did not have to worry.
HayRee was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Donna Carol, Addie Lee, and Helen; brothers, Odis and Wilmer.
She is survived by her family: husband Edward (Buddy) Rice; daughter, Lesley (Adam) Brown; granddaughter, Valynn Via; grandson, Ethan Via; siblings; Sandra (Cecil) Charlton, Robert (Billie Jean) Ray, Rufus (Gwin) Ray, David Ray, Barbara (Dale) Burton, Lou (Larry) Smart, Sheila (Carl) Knuckles, Mike Ray, Kim Layton, and Louise Olivares; numerous nieces and nephews, and her best friend and “sister” of 34 years, Brenda (Jimmy) Stanton.
Mark Spencer, minister, and family friend will officiate services.
The visitation will be Sunday, February 26, 2023, 1 to 2 p.m., at White Hall Community Center with the service following at 2:00 p.m.
Memorials can be made to Children’s Home Inc., 5515 Walcott Rd, Paragould, Arkansas, 72450.
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