OCTOBER 16, 2020
I know how hard it is right now for all of us to have lost Nita Raye, but let me say, we are here not to mourn our loss, but to celebrate the life of a beautiful lady, who has completed her God appointed tasks in this life, and has graduated to her forever life in Heaven with Jesus her Savior, and to be with Him and her sister Susan, her parents, grandparents, and so many other family members and friends who have gone on before her.
So, for just a few moments, I would like to tell you, about a true lady, a beautiful lady, who graced this world for 78 years, 6 months and 2 days. I want you to know she lived a long life just as her Savior Jesus promised in the last verse of Psalms 91.
As you can see from the pictures, brought by her family, yes, she was beautiful. In fact, son Brad tells of a time he brought his girlfriend to meet his Mom. When the girlfriend saw her, working on the horse farm she and John operated, the girlfriend punched him and wanted to know who that good-looking girl was, thinking Brad had another girl friend. Brad said, “No that’s my Mom.”
When she went shopping with daughter Stephanie, the clerks addressed them as sisters.
But that was not her real beauty. She has a heart for family and friends that reflects the love of Christ.
She had her first-born son Brad when she was just 19 years of age, but that marriage did not last. You will see the answer to that failure in the book you received when you came today, written by her husband John, written about their love for each other. She met John on the day after Thanksgiving in 1965.
God is so fascinating in the way He sets things up. For His glory and our good.
They worked together and talked every day, and he was so impressed by her intelligence, and good looks of course, that on the 15th of December that year, after knowing her for only 3 weeks, he told her that he believed they could get married and never regret it. This was while they were both engaged to other people! She said he was crazy. He said, “You get rid of your boyfriend, I will get rid of my girlfriend over the holidays, and on the 2nd day of January I will begin to court you like a proper gentleman.” They were married on the 14th day of April 1966. On January 26, 1967, their “together” son, Christopher was born, as John says, “sealing the marriage.”
Nice story, but here is the best part. John already had 4 children from his first marriage, and Nita’s mother warned her that she would end up raising those kids.
In 1972 when the birth mother of John’s children was not able to care for them, Nita insisted that they come to live with her and John. She was kind hearted and said their birth mother would always be welcome to visit and have them for a weekend when it worked out for her, but she felt it was very important that the children have a stable home environment. In time she adopted Stephanie, John Jr, and Jim, while John adopted her first son, Brad. So, they had a, yours, mine and ours family. But that is not how they saw it. This was their family. Yet in all this Nita always welcomed their birth mother to be a part of the family. In fact, eventually they were friends, working to show the children that hate has no place in a Christian home.
Did I mention that Nita quit her job when the children came to live with them? Her comment was they needed to know that someone was at home waiting for them when school was out. Lesson one, Responsibility. Lesson two, do what is right regardless the cost.
Eventually, after her child raising task was over, she went to work for Lancôme cosmetics and worked her way up to a traveling executive, then took a position with Talbots and, and of course moved right up to a store manager. There was no stopping this lady.
Was it worth all the effort and time? The results are in and all her children are successful in their field of endeavor, responsible, and love the Lord.
Then began the wonderful years of growing older together without the family raising responsibilities, just enjoying each other and life. She and John had a favorite place to go for a weekend “get away”. The Plaza in Kansas City, staying at the International Hotel and kicking back.
Nita Raye always insisted on having a family gathering for each of the children’s, grandchildren’s, and great grandchildren’s birthdays, and any other holidays, to keep the family united for good times and love. These were the beautiful and pleasant years she and John had worked for and now were enjoying.
In 2008 Nita suffered the first of several mini strokes, and life changed to enjoying each day, day by day because we don’t know how many we have left. In May of 2019 the hospital stays, and home recovery were the norm, and as always, the love she gave to the family came back to her in her time of need.
On Wednesday the 14th of October, her condition worsened, and although the family who lived close came to love her, her Daughter Stephanie had not arrived yet from Aspen, so Nita Raye waited. Stephanie arrived on Thursday, they got to hug and love each other, then she let go and let God take her home the next day. She was ready.
A friend of Nita’s and John’s sent a message after he heard of Nita’s graduation, that said; “I see her arriving in Heaven with the words spoken, ‘Well done!”
As John has said of her and to her; “Beauty, thou hast a new name, Nita Raye.”
All of us are looking forward to seeing her again in Heaven, where there will be no pain or sorrow, that’s good, but the best is to be in the presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus forever and ever.
Thank you, beloved Christian wife and sister, for your faithfulness.
OCTOBER 16, 2020