Norma Neressa Ray, 92

Funeral services for Norma Neressa Ray, 92, of Ava, were held Feb. 29, 2020, at Oak Grove Church in Wasola. Mrs. Ray died Feb. 27 at Heart of the Ozarks Health Care Center in Ava. 

She was born May 13, 1927, in Grabeal, the daughter of Newt and Leona James Cantwell.

On March 31, 1949, in Mountain Home, Arkansas, she married the handsome Carl Ray. The Rays were Christians who faithfully attended Oak Grove Baptist Church. Mrs. Ray lived out her faith by always being a caring person who put others first. She remembered everyone’s name and where they lived, even as her health was failing. 

Her family has fond memories of her gardening abilities and of her love of fishing. She was a homemaker who was particular about doing laundry and would hunt something to wash every day. She enjoyed going out to eat Chinese food, and she and her husband were often seen at Casey’s in Ava sharing one cup of coffee and one donut.

Her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews will miss her wonderful baked goods, including her hot rolls and cinnamon rolls. She leaves a vacant spot in the lives of her friends and family.

She is survived by her three daughters, Glenda Hannah and husband Ron, Sue Graham and husband Darrell, and Lana Hampton and husband Mike, all of Ava; two sons, Dale Ray and wife Debby of Wasola, and Roger Ray of Knoxville, Tennessee; 22 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, as well as several nieces and nephews; two sisters, Louise and Eleanor, and one brother, Norman Cantwell.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl, who died Feb. 17, 2020; and by one son, Darrell; and her brothers James and Ernest Cantwell.

Burial was in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Wasola. Online condolences may be expressed at

Ava Family Funeral Home, Ava, directors.

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
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