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Lucille G. Ray

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“Ames, Nancy, and family; She lived a long and full life. How wonderful. May she now rest in peace. Our condolences. Dan and Sharon Deja ”
1 of 3 | Posted by: Dan and Sharon Deja - Key West, FL

“Fond memories of the past; and yet more in the future to come. Looking forward to talking with her again. I feel Grandpa and his love welcoming ...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Josh - lansing, MI - grandson

“Grandma Ray was a beautiful woman, wife, sister, mother, grandmother, friend. We will miss her very much. She was always fun to be around and also...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Jeramy Ray - Lansing, MI


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Lucille Gertrude Ray, 97 years old, passed away Monday, March 12, at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph.

Lucille was born Jan. 20, 1915, to Margarett Abbe Spear and Arthur Nathaniel Spear in Derby in Lincoln Township. She lived with her parents and worked for her father, a produce merchant in Derby, until she graduated from Stevensville High School in 1932. After attending Berrien County Normal School, she taught in various one-room schools in Berrien County.

In June 1941 she married Stanley L. Ray of Hoopeston, Ill., in a double wedding ceremony with her sister, Geraldine, and Arnold Burandt. After the end of World War II, she and Stanley reared four children in Fair Plain, and she earned a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University. After teaching elementary school for over 32 years in the Benton Harbor Area Schools, she and her husband retired to Coral Springs, Fla., where she volunteered with a local school, hospital, and several charitable organizations. She and her husband square danced, bowled, traveled throughout the United States, and played tennis. In fact, Lucille played tennis almost every day until she was 80 years old. After her husband died in 1985, she remained in Florida for some years. She celebrated her 80th birthday there by going horseback riding. She also traveled to London, Rome, and Yucatan.

In 2001, she moved back to St. Joseph and lived at Whitcomb Retirement Center. She then moved to Orchard Grove in Benton Township. She enjoyed cards, crossword puzzles, going for walks in Lake Bluff Park, dining out, playing bingo, attending concerts, and taking car rides to local farm markets and Lake Michigan. She had a life-long love of animals, really appreciated her cats and, in later years, petting dogs in Lake Bluff Park in St. Joseph and dog visits at Orchard Grove. She always appreciated the care she received from staff at Whitcomb Retirement Center and Orchard Grove.

Lucille had tremendous spunk and spirit that was much enjoyed and appreciated by her family and friends.

She is survived by: a daughter, Nancy (WIlliam) Ast., St. Joseph; three sons, Ames Ray, Austin, Texas, Gail (Karen) Ray, Hartford, and Lyle (Paula) Ray, Warrenton, Va.; seven grandchildren, Jennifer (Joe Scott) Ast, Uppsala, Sweden, Joshua Ray and Jeramy Ray, Lansing, Daniel (Tiffany) Gerbers, South Haven, and Levi Gerbers, Hartford, Nicholas Ray and Lauren Ray, Warrenton, Va.; two great-grandchildren; and caring nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by: her husband, Stanley; a sister, Geraldine Burandt; and a brother, Lowell Spear.

A private ceremony at the family plot in Lincoln Township Cemetery will be held after cremation. Memorials may be made in Lucille's name to The Humane Society in Berrien County. Those wishing to share a memory of Lucille on-line may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

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