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This is the story of Velda Faye Southern Ramsey Ray.
I was born in Pryor, Oklahoma on May 8, 1946 to a dirt farmer and his wife. This
was a Wednesday. My Dad said that I was almost born on the 9th. The poem says
Wednesday's child is full of woe. Whatever that means! I never felt like I was woeful.
Anyway, on with my life.
My Mother, Hazel, came from a family of 5 children. Her Mother was left a
widow at an early age, with 5 children to raise on her own. The baby, I think was only 2.
There was 3 girls and 2 boys. My Mom was the middle child. She always felt she was
alone. The others all had a sibling close to their age.
My Dad Omer, didn't talk too much about his growing up years. He also had 5
children in his family. There were 3 boys and 2 girls. The family was very poor. His
Mom divorced and remarried, as did his Dad. So, my concept of his family was
confusing to me and far different than my Moms.
As a young child, on one hand I had my Mom's family...gathered often...visited
and laughed often. On the other hand..my Dad's family was not so connected. They very
seldom got together. I don't ever remember any holidays we met as a family. That family
was not into loving and caring as my Mom's family was. I shall be forever grateful for
the attention and love that my Mom's family had for each other and showed me.
Now, about my name...my long name. I was known as Velda Faye Southern until I
entered the 7th grade. I think that was called junior high back in the day. When I went
back to school after summer vacation, I insisted on being Faye Southern. My Dad was
okay with this change, but Mom..not so much. I never liked Velda. In fact, I think I was
named after my Dad's best friends daughter. How weird is that?
As was the way in the little town of Pryor, Oklahoma, I graduated from high
school, went to college (for awhile) and got married. That exercise changed my name, or
at least added to my name...Ramsey. That name was good for about 37 years. But, things
change and I did too. I legally changed my last name to Ray. This was my maternal
grandmothers maiden name and I wanted to honor her. She was one person that I
knew...without a shadow of a doubt...she loved, loved, loved me. So now, I am known as
Faye Ray. I like that name. It's short. Easy to say and for most people, easy to spell. My
daughter will have to decide how many of those names to put on my stone.
When my life changed, also my last name, I went back to college. Got my
associate degree and my bachelor degree, worked 3 jobs and took care of my Mother.
After my Dad died, she was found to have Alzheimer's. This was a very stressful time for
me and Angela as well. I look back now, and think I must have had the Lord giving me
strength. Because, now just the thought of all that makes me tired.
After graduation, I went to work as as insurance agent. Now, I knew nothing about
selling insurance and often wondered why I was in that office. I was the new kid. The
guys in that office were patient and mostly kind. It wasn't perfect, but it sure was
interesting. Those guys are all spread out to other interests now, but I have kept in touch
and grown close to one. Zane and I live in the same neighborhood. So it is easy to visit. I
am grateful for all he has done for me during this time. The job lasted 10 yrs, but the
friendship will go on forever.
There were other times, I had to wonder what was I doing here??? One of those was
when I became a Mother. Oh brother. Talk about not having a clue. I am an only child.
Only baby sitting job I ever had, my mother had to leave her job and rescue me!!! When
Angela would cry, I would hold her up to my face and ask her what was wrong. I sure
had no clue. She turned out great. I guess I did something right. But then...again... her
GeeMaw probably had more to do with that than me. With her prayers and obvious love
for my child...she made the difference.
I had lots of titles thru my live...daughter, student, wife, mother, insurance agent, best
friend, divorced widow, and cancer patient. That last one got to me. Brought me down.
Cancer is so hard to accept. So hard. As I write this, its June 20, 2020. I don't know if I
am a survivor, or a statistic. I have tried to accept and deal with the cards I have been
dealt in my life. But, we all must go and that is all right with me. The Lord has been
with me. Held me when I couldn't walk. And now He is there waiting. For this, I am
In my life, I have met some terrific people. And some not so. I have been hurt by
people that I truly loved and thought they loved me. But after a time, that just was not the
truth. I have had some trials...who hasn't? But some successes too. I don't want this day
to be terribly sad. I do want each of you to celebrate my life. Laugh at some of the funny
things you remember and go away with a feeling of peace.
Monday, December 5, 2022
6:00 - 8:00pm (Central time)
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
2:00 - 3:00pm (Central time)
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
3:15 - 4:15pm (Central time)
Graham Memorial Cemetery
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