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OBITUARIES FOR WEDNESDAY, AUG. 1, 2001

By Staff
BARBARA LEE WILSON RAY
Cosmetologist
Services for Barbara Lee Wilson Ray will be held Thursday at noon at Mt. Olive Baptist Church with the Revs. A.D. Lewis and R.D. Harris officiating. Burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery with Berry and Gardner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Mrs. Ray, 72, of Meridian, died Friday, July 27, 2001, at Rush Foundation Hospital.
Barbara Lee Wilson was born April 30, 1929, in Jasper County, the third of four siblings born to P.D. and Katie Carr Wilson. Her brothers, Jimmy Lee, Robert Lee and Joe Albert preceded her in death. Katie was called home three years after the birth of Barbara. Later her dad remarried and to this union Berdie, Nalda and Albert were born.
She attended school at the Baptist Seminary in Meridian, Barbara met and married Charles Edward Ray. They were married for 54 years. They loved the Lord, each other and their "girls." They were dedicated to each other and had a union that no outsider could destroy a powerful statement for their girls. He always told her he loved her and appreciated her as a wife and a mom. Their love of the Lord was the foundation of their strong and solid union. They introduced their girls to the Lord at an early age because they believed that a family who prayed together, stayed together.
Barbara was an elegant and proper southern girl who was multi-talented. She sang, directed choirs and ensembles; did gardening, cooking, and sewing. She reared four girls, cared for the sick, and was the best cosmetologist (hairdresser) around. She had the voice of an angel. Barbara was always singing or humming a tune, and she loved to sing because she believed the 100th Psalm, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands." Those sounds were soothing to her family because it meant that everything was fine. Barbara loved her family and saw to it that her girls grew up knowing that they were loved unconditionally. She taught her girls to love each other, as well as the hosts of extended siblings; other moms, friends, and families.
Barbara believed that the more you loved, the more love you had to give; that love is never in short supply because God is love. She was born a missionary. Church was an integral part of the Ray household. At Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a member for more than 50 years, she organized and directed many choirs including the Junior Choir, the Gospel Choralaires and the Sunbeam Choir. She directed and presided over the Senior and Mass Choirs. She was a member of several organizations and taught Sunday school.
As music director, Miss Barbara Ray' touched and inspired lives with the warm and accepting way she had with young members. Former choir members who moved away often stopped by to see Mama Ray" when they came home for visits. She loved each member in a special way, and they knew it! She had charisma and charm.
In later years when she became ill, many friends remained faithful to her. There was a constant stream of well wishers and visitors to her home. Tributes were made to her by choir members, church family, and friends from other congregations. That was a tribute and a living testament of the love, respect, and high esteem in which they held her.
As a wife and mother, she was the epitome of strength, perseverance, dedication, patience and love. Her family adored her. Her illness took its toll on her body, but not her mind. Though she could no longer communicate verbally, we knew how she felt and tried to make her as comfortable and cared for as humanly possible. Barbara Joyce Kidd, her youngest daughter, became her doctor, nurse, spiritual partner and interpreter. "Joyce" was her ever-present angel, a constant source of strength, and an awe-inspiring example of love in action. The family working together with "Joyce" (the boss), worked tirelessly to ensure that she was included in each day's activities. She had many angels every step of the way on her journey home. Though she will be missed, she will never be forgotten.
The life her family leads is a true testament to Barbara Ray who fervently believed the Father when He instructed us to "… Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee…." We loved her and always will. She was our strength, our guide, our conscience; the one person who always had time for each one of us.
Barbara had a special bond with each of her girls and each cherishes the time she had alone with mom who became confidante and best friend. Seventy-two years may seem short, but life is measured by the quality of the years.
Her precious memories will always be cherished by her loving husband, Charles Edward Ray; four loving daughters, Margaret Ann Wallace and her husband, Lawrence, of Detroit, Peggy Jean Dease and her husband, Clyde, of Picayune, Kay Carrol Ray and Earl Burrowes of Philadelphia, Pa.; her devoted baby daughter, Barbara Joyce Kidd and her husband, Gerald, of Meridian; eight grandchildren, Austin Holloway, Bridgett Coles, Wendy Booker, Tiffany, Erin, and Monica Dease, Brandye and Jason Kidd, eight great-grandchildren, a devoted nephew, Robert Charles Jackson; and a significant number of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She also leaves two sisters; Berdie Benson and Nalda Marzette, both of Chicago; a devoted cousin, Booker T. Wilson; and a community of friends with unwavering devotion and love.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation will be today from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. at the funeral home.
LINDA JEAN LIEDTKE
McDonald's manager
Services for Linda Jean Liedtke will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at James F. Webb Funeral Home Chapel with the Revs. Russell Luquire and Bill Cox officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery in the Clarkdale Community.
Mrs. Liedtke, 47, of Meridian, died Monday, July 30, 2001, at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center. She was a member of Wesley Chapel Methodist Church.
Survivors include her husband, Earl Liedtke of Meridian; her father, Roger Watson of Little Rock; a daughter, April Arkuszeski and her husband, Billy, of Meridian; stepbrother, Gene Anderson; two stepsisters, Bobbie Gail Oliver of Meridian and Pat Terrell of Little Rock; a grandson, Brandon Arkuszeski of Meridian; two stepdaughters, Trisha Liedtke and Missy Liedtke and a stepson, Matthew Liedtke, all of Meridian.
Pallbearers will be members of the Clarkdale Fire Department.
Visitation will be today from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
ODELL SMITH
Retired truck driver
PHILADELPHIA Services for Odell Smith will be held today at 1:30 p.m. at Antioch Baptist Church with the Rev. James Young officiating. Burial will be in Antioch Cemetery in Union with McClain-Hays Funeral Service in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Smith, 84, of Collinsville, died Monday, July 30, 2001, at Wesley Medical Center in Hattiesburg. He was a veteran of World War II. Mr. Smith was born and raised in Neshoba County where he made his home in the House Community most of his life. He was a member of Antioch Baptist Church.
Survivors include a daughter, Deborah Reynolds of Petal; a son, James Dell Smith of Nesbit; a granddaughter, Candee Ryals of Petal; a grandson, Steven Smith of Birmingham, Ala; two great-grandchildren, Jonathan Ryals of Petal and Madison Smith of Eupora; and a brother, Samuel Clarence Smith of Meridian.
LYDA FLORENCE CLARK WALKER
Homemaker
Services for Lyda Florence Clark Walker will be held today at 5 p.m. at James F. Webb Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Sam Hull officiating. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Ala., with Elmwood Chapel of Birmingham in charge of arrangements.

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