Harriet Ailene Albin Ray passed away peacefully at home on June 29, 2020, after suffering a stroke with her husband of over 58 years at her side. Harriet was born November 16, 1938 to Orville and Estella (Holderness) Albin in Decatur, Illinois. Her Grandmother emigrated from Germany. Harriet was always proud of her family heritage. Harriet grew up on the family farm outside of Warrensburg, IL with sisters Betty and Norma and Brother Richard. Harriet developed the love of the country and the farm at an early age. Harriet graduated from Warrensburg-Latham High School and the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1960. Harriet began her teaching career in Monmouth and planned to stay in the small town for only a short time. Harriet’s roommate Vicki Hennefent set her up on a blind date with W. Donald Ray. The rest as they say is history. Harriet married W. Donald Ray December 23, 1961 at the Illini Congregational Church in rural Warrensburg where Harriet began her faith journey. The wedding occurred during a major ice storm. Together, Harriet and Don raised 4 children, Doug (Sue) Ray of Princeton, Mark (Abbie) Ray of Carthage, Jeff (Carrie) Ray of Naperville and the joy of the family, Karen. Harriet and Don have 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Family was very important to Harriet, and she always looked forward to hosting and cooking/baking for family and community events. Harriet attended as many family events and reunions as she could. Harriet was a life-long learner and teacher, touching the lives of hundreds of students. She took an interest in each and every student to see they did their best. Harriet taught business, accounting, shorthand, and keyboarding and was the Warren High School yearbook advisor for several years. She was the Treasurer for Fairview Center United Methodist Church for several years. She was part of the technology evolution from typewriters to personal computers and word processors and spreadsheets and actively embraced the challenge of learning the new technology. Harriet loved farming and country life and being fully engaged in her Family, Church and Community. Harriet and Don were the perfect farming team with Harriet handling all of the record keeping, meals and any other needed support. Harriet always made sure the books balanced. Harriet’s happy place was at home in the sunroom addition where she could watch her flowers, birds, adjoining fields, and all of God’s creation. Harriet was a great cook and hostess and an even better Mother, Grandmother, and friend. She always struck up a meaningful conversation with any one she met and always helped whenever and wherever needed without hesitation. Harriet was always kind and helpful. Harriet is survived by her husband Don, children Doug, Mark, and Jeff, brother Richard, in-laws Wayne and Beth Ray, Joyce and John Talley, Don and Jane Dolieslager, her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. Harriet is being greeted in heaven by Daughter Karen, her parents and in-laws Wilbur and Doris Ray, Sisters Betty and Norma, niece Carol and nephew Janda and in-laws Mary Ann and Dale Pauley. Social Distancing and wearing of facial masks is recommended.
Friends may call and pay their respects on Friday and Saturday at the Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth. A celebration of life service will be held Sunday, July 5, at 2 pm at Fairview United Methodist Church with burial to follow at the Lenox Union Cemetery. The service will be streamed on Face Book Live @fairviewcenter.. In lieu of flowers, the family has established memorials for Harriet at: Fairview Center Church or Warren Achievement Center or Special Olympics of Illinois
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