Nelson-Berna Funeral Home & Crematory
4520 N Crossover Rd.
Fayetteville, AR 72703


Shirley Irene Johnson Ray

January 24, 1930 - November 19, 2013

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Shirley Irene Johnson Ray, 83 of Fayetteville, Arkansas died Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at her home. She was born January 24, 1930 in Lexington, Kentucky, the daughter of Howard Johnson and Eunice Tolbert Johnson.
She grew up in Hazard, Kentucky as the daughter of the local Coca-Cola bottler and graduated from Hazard High School. She would also attend Northwestern University, Centre College and the University of Kentucky.
Shirley was married at the First Baptist Church, Hazard, KY on June 17, 1951 to Edward Oren Ray, who was a World War II US Navy veteran and was a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and a brother, Howard Johnson, Jr.
Shirley received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord as a youth at Bible Camp and was a member of University Baptist Church in Fayetteville, AR. She loved bible stories and scripture and was a helper in the children’s nursery.
During her lifetime she lived in Kentucky, Georgia, Kenya, Russia and Arkansas. Shirley loved being a wife, mother, Nana, and Grandma Shirley to her family and her “Kitty”.
A great “letter writer” and world traveler, who loved the color of lavender. She was loved by all who knew her. A sweet, beautiful child of God.
We love you Mom! You are forever the “bestest”.
Survivors include her children: Rebecca Ruth Ray Gilpin of Davie, FL; Edward Oren Ray II of Fayetteville, AR; Elizabeth Cheryl Ray Jones of Fulton, KY; Robert Oren Ray of Denver, CO; brother, Forest Thomas Johnson; grandchildren, Jared Roderick Gilpin, Jason Ray Gilpin, Jessica Ruth Gilpin Boecker, Shelby Patrick Jones, Jackson Henry Jones, Caroline Alana Jones; great-grandchildren, Samuel and Rachel Gilpin and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends across the United States.
A chapel service will be held at Engle-Bowling Funeral Home, 301 East Main Street in Hazard, KY on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 11:00 AM and followed by a graveside service in Englewood Cemetery.
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