Obituary of Florence Iona Ray
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6
Florence Iona Ray was born in Michigan to Dale and Hazel Wright on June 12, 1926. She passed away in Littleton, Colorado on April 11th. She was 95 years old. Florence graduated from Midland High School in Midland, Michigan. She worked in a dress shop during WWII. May 6, 1946 at 19 years old, she married high school sweetheart, Roland A. Ray (22) after his service in the war. They had two children, Carol and Debbie. After moving to Peoria, Illinois in 1960, her time was spent being a great homemaker and serving the youth ministry with her husband at El Vista Baptist Church. Their house was always open to the youth, family and friends. She was a loving hostess, always ready for another surprise visit.
Their daughter, Debbie and her two kids, Kristin and Laura moved in with Florence and Roland in 1987 which changed their plans of traveling as empty nesters. Florence selflessly took on the role of another mother to her two grandkids and treated them as her own. After her oldest daughter, Carol and husband, Dan moved to Colorado, the rest of the family followed.
In Colorado, they called Denver First Church of the Nazarene their home church and got involved right away. In 1997, Debbie married Jim Wert and gave birth to a son, Matthew. Florence was no stranger to a noisy household with seven people living in the house.
Florence was a Godly woman who served the family with her good cookin’ and chicken pickin’. The best way to describe her nature was selfless, sweet, gentle and funny. Always a good listener, teacher and mentor. She spent countless hours helping with her grandchildren’s schoolwork. Florence loved all five of her grandchildren, Amy and Jennifer (Carol’s daughters) and Kristin, Laura, and Matthew (Debbie’s children).
Florence’s baking was always requested and frequently involved apples and chocolate. She loved everything apple- apple pie, applesauce, apple juice and the list goes on. In fact, her advice was you weren’t ready to get married until you can peel an apple in one strand. When it came to her no-bake chow mein noodle cookies and to her no-bake oatmeal cookies, her grandchildren and husband loved that she gave no limit on how many they could eat. Along with her nickname Nanny Whipper, she was also known as one tough cookie. If there was a difficult jar to open, it was always handed to her for assistance. Not only was she tough physically, but mentally as well. Emotionally supporting all family members in need. She was a trusted advisor and friend. Her legacy as a kind-hearted person and beautiful soul will live on in the memories of the family and friends lives that she touched.
Florence is survived by her daughter, Carol Wheeler (Dan), son-in-law, Jim Wert (Daughter, Debbie’s husband), grandchildren, Amy Kenny (George), Jennifer Kaplon (Dylan), Kristin Cooper (Sean), Laura Roby (Randall), Matthew Wert and 7 great grandchildren. Also survived by her younger sister, Pat Keysor (Cork) and several nieces and nephews.
An open-house celebration of Florence’s life will be held at the neighborhood clubhouse 7200 S. Vine Street Centennial, CO 80122 from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm following the graveside service at Fort Logan cemetery on Thursday, May 5th, 2022.
No need to hold the salt anymore, Nan. Have as much as you want. “I love you more.”
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her name to Jews for Jesus, The Nazarene Fund or Movement 5280. Simply sharing a loving memory of Florence with family and friends is just as appreciated.