Barbara R. "Barb" Ray, age 81, of Monmouth, Illinois, passed away peacefully at 10:36 PM on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at her home surrounded by her family. She was born August 21, 1939 in Mount Vernon, Indiana, the daughter of William and Margaret (Smith) Irvin. Barb attended schools in Mount Vernon and graduated from Mount Vernon High School with the Class of 1957. On March 10, 1966, she married Rudy Ray in Monmouth, Illinois and he preceded her in death on January 24, 2005. Barb was previously married to Robert Cox. Barb worked as a phone operator for both the public telephone service and the railroad, Wells Pet Food, and lastly, Farmland Foods in Monmouth. Barb enjoyed gambling, bingo, and watching sports on television. She was a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs football team. She most recently baby sat in her home for many children, many calling her "Grandma". Mostly, Barb loved her grandchildren and family time.
Barb is survived by five daughters, Kim Erickson of Abingdon, Illinois, Margaret Bern of Galesburg, Illinois, Lynda Mesecher of Monmouth, Illinois, Amy (Jim) Bratkovic of Monmouth, Illinois, and Teresa (Brad( Ray-Guile of Blandinsville, Illinois, three sons, Russell Ray of Galesburg, Illinois, Randy (Mary) Ray of Little York, Illinois, and Kevin Cox of Abingdon, Illinois, 18 grandchildren, 36 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by three brothers, Mike, Bob, and John Irvine. Barb is preceded in death by her parents, husband, sons Paul and Rick, grandson Johnny, sister Bev, and brother Dave. The family would like to recognize and thank Barb's granddaughter Allie for the care she provided over the past month.
A funeral service for Barbara Ray will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth, Illinois. Visitation will be from 9:30-10:30 AM prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will be at Monmouth Cemetery. A memorial fund is being established and will be named at a later date. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, masks will be required and social distancing shall be observed.
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