Joyce Ray, 76, of Bryan passed away peacefully on September 16, 2019 in her home surrounded by family.
Joyce was born on February 18, 1943 in, Iola, to her parents, Aubrey Gentry and Reba Sanders. Her mother passed away when Joyce was very young at age five. Joyce was always talking about her dad and how she enjoyed going hunting with him and riding the City of Bryan bus that he drove for a living. She grew up in Bryan with her sisters, Wanda and Audrey. At the age of 17, Joyce married the love of her life, Donald E. Ray, on October 31, 1960, in Bryan. She would always joke around saying, "she didn't know if she got trick or treated!" Together, they raised three children, Donald E. Ray Jr., Diana Ray Cover, and Tina L. Ray. Because she was a Navy wife for twenty years, Joyce often held the role of both Mom and Dad since Donald was abroad on duty. Joyce was a very loving mother and her family meant the world to her.
Joyce went to school in Bryan and later went on to receive her Nursing Assistant Certificate in California. She had some part-time jobs, but for the most part, Joyce was a hardworking full-time Mother, House Wife, Cook, and Nurse. Joyce was a member at Calvary Baptist, and enjoyed spending time with everyone within the Church. She had a strong faith and loved the word of the Bible.
Joyce was known to be very caring with a beautiful smile. As the matriarch of the family, her family was the most important thing to her, including her animals, from her cats, dogs, birds, fish, horse, and pig. Her children remember her as a remarkable Mom, always showing her unconditional love by saying, "I love you more!" Joyce was an amazing cook, always having enough to feed an army! She loved going to Casa Olé to enjoy her margaritas and peanut M&M's. She will be remembered for her beauty, giving nature, kindness, and love for her family.
Joyce was preceded in death by her mother, Reba Sanders, her Father, Aubrey Gentry, and her husband, Donald E. Ray. Surviving Joyce are her beloved children, Donald E. Ray, Diana Ray Cover, and Tina Ray; her grandchildren, Tiffany Cover, Jessica Cover, Donald E. Ray III, Daniel Ray, Steven Foss, and Alec Foss; and her great-grandchildren, Kaylee Cover and Charlotte Van De Water.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Joyce's memory may be sent to Wounded Warriors Fund or ASPCA - Houston Chapter.
A visitation will be held from 5-8 pm on Friday, September 27, 2019 at Hillier Funeral Home of Bryan. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 am on Saturday, September 28th at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Cross Cemetery.