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Sarah Campbell Ray

September 27, 1921 - February 2, 2020

Mass of Christian Burial: 11:00 a.m. Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church.  A Rosary and remarks will begin at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole with visitation until 7 p.m.  Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park.  Pallbearers will be Mrs. Ray’s 12 grandsons.

Memorials may be made to The Discalced Carmelite Nuns, 2801 Mount Carmel Drive, Arlington, Texas 76017;  Cook Children’s Medical Center, 801 Seventh Avenue, Fort Worth 76104; or to the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, 909 West Shaw, Fort Worth 76110.

Sarah Campbell Ray passed from this life into the Kingdom of God on Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Sarah Campbell Ray was born to Sarah Baker Campbell and Clifton Breckinridge Campbell in Little Rock, Arkansas on September 27, 1921.

After graduating from Little Rock Central High School in 1938, Sarah completed her AA in Journalism and graduated with highest honors from Chevy Chase Junior College in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in 1940. She made her debut in Little Rock in December 1941.

World War II was underway when Sarah returned home after completing her degree.  She began volunteering as a Gray Lady, a division of the Red Cross dedicated to rolling bandages and amassing supplies for wounded soldiers.  At the same time, she and the other debutantes volunteered with the USO, a group organized to entertain and lift the morale of the troops.

Through her duties with the USO at Camp Robinson, the Army base in Little Rock, Sarah met and fell in love with Paul Ray of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  They married in September 1942, moving frequently as Paul was reassigned with each promotion in the army, and later, in business.  When they moved to Fort Worth in 1953, they purchased a house on Elizabeth Blvd. for their then family of 5 children which had expanded to a family of 10 children by the time they bought a larger house in 1967.

Despite the demands of her large family, Sarah felt strongly that she should still be of service in the community.  She was a member of the Junior League of Fort Worth and volunteered for years at The Bargain Box, the League’s thrift store.  Eventually, she became chairman of the store committee, instituting a new incentive program to increase donations which was very popular and successful.   At the time of her death, Sarah was the longest serving service member of the Junior League of Fort Worth.

As her children grew older and she had more time, several service organizations benefited.  Sarah served as President of the Holy Family Women’s Society and as a board member for the Camp Fire Girls of Fort Worth.  She held several offices with Jewel Charity, becoming President in 1978.  Sarah Ray was also a member of The Assembly and of River Crest and Shady Oaks Country Clubs.

Along with her husband, Paul, Sarah was for many years a board member of the Cliburn International Piano Competition and a very enthusiastic supporter of the event.  Also, as a couple, the Catholic Church conferred on Sarah and Paul one of its highest lay honors, naming them a Knight and Lady of the Holy Sepulchre whose duties include maintaining Christ’s tomb in Jerusalem.

Reading was unquestionably Sarah’s favorite pastime, but travel was a close second.  In her lifetime, she visited Canada, Mexico, and almost every state in the Union.  In fact, every summer for 30 years, she packed up her family to spend the month of July in Sea Island, Georgia, a place she truly loved.

Other destinations included most of the European countries, including many of those which were once behind the Iron Curtain.  In every destination, Sarah took tours and visited museums and historic sites, eager to learn all she could about the place she was visiting.

In fulfillment of Proverbs 31:28, “Her children rise and call her blessed,” each of Sarah’s children has paid her homage, hoping to reveal a little about how very special she was to them.  According to Breck, “Mom always had time to listen, to provide guidance, to offer encouragement at just the right time.” And Beckie added, “Momma taught us all the meaning of family, and she was the most diligent and loving teacher.”

Paul remarked, “Although Mom was small in stature, she was also the rare combination of strength and kindness.”  Hatti’s tribute echoed Paul’s, “Momma was resourceful, determined, unselfish, and kind.”

Mary and Chris shared their admiration for their mother’s sincerity.  Chris noted that, “Momma had the ability to show sincere interest in both the person and in what was important to that person and then to remember all of it the next time she saw him.”  Mary added, “She was a great conversationalist with an innate ability to make anyone she met feel interesting and important.”

“Momma was quietly brilliant with incredible organizational ability,” Sarah reflected.  Toni concurred, adding, “Momma was a voracious reader and a prolific writer; even in a note of in her yearly Christmas jingle she conveyed warmth and joy.”

Peter said, “I so appreciated Mom’s undying optimism and ability to see positive outcomes, no doubt based on her faith and trust in God.”  And Anne concluded, “There are very few people in the world I would call ‘precious’, but Momma fit the definition perfectly.”

Sarah was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 64 years, Paul, and her two brothers, Breck and Davies Campbell of Little Rock, Arkansas.

The family extends its heartfelt appreciation to Annie Oliver, caregiver, companion, and best friend for over 10 years.  We are also grateful for the loving care of Virginia Smalley and Mary Tobin.  Thanks are also extended to Comfort Keepers and to Community Hospice.

Sarah is survived by her children, Paul Ray Jr. and wife, Elizabeth, Sarah Ray Voelker, Dr. Peter Ray and wife, Sherry, Anne Ray Abshire and husband, Danny, Breck Ray and wife, Shannon, Beckie Ray Geren and husband, Pete, Hatti Ray Weissenborn and husband, Charlie, Christina Ray Garland and husband, John, Mary Fitzgerald Ray, Toni Ray Geren and fiancé, Keith Young. Grandchildren: Paul Ray III, John Ray, Alice Ray Collins, Sarah Audrey Voelker, Wilson Voelker III, Fritz Voelker, Christian Grammer Freberg, Ashley Abshire Armstrong, Mason Abshire, Breck Ray Jr., Peter Ray II, Megan Ray, Taylor Ray, Carson Ray, Tracy Geren Raesz, Annie Geren, Mary Geren, Charles Weissenborn III, Christina Weissenborn, Richard Garland, Campbell Garland, Emily Geren Leonard, and grandson to be, Trystan Young; 26 great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Martha Campbell of Little Rock; and niece, Anne Campbell Fink and husband, Danny of Crown Point, Indiana.