Blue Ridge Funeral & Cremation Service       7626 Highway 213      Mars Hill, NC 28754     Phone: (828) 680-0287      Fax: (828) 680-9965      Email:


Charity Ray

Charity Mae Ray

Tuesday, June 1st, 1937 - Friday, October 2nd, 2020
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Charity Mae Ray was born on June 1, 1937. She was called home to begin her heavenly journey on October 2, 2020. Charity was the daughter of John and Augusta Briscoe Ray and sister to Dorothy Ray Coone and Christina Ray Rucker all of whom are deceased.
She is survived by her loving nieces Linda Rogers of Dalzell, SC and Connie Overcum of Morristown, TN, as well as a host of great and great great nieces and nephews.
Charity was a fifth-generation resident of the greater Mars Hill area. Her family first lived in a log cabin near the present Ingles grocery store in Mars Hill, later building their home in the Long Ridge Community. Charity and her sister Dorothy resided in their parents homeplace before passing.
She attended the Mars Hill Anderson Rosenwald School in the Long Ridge Community and graduated from Allen High School for Girls in Asheville. After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City and worked for some years before returning home to help take care of her sick father.
In 1970, Charity began working at Mars Hill College as a secretary, later becoming a staff member in the curriculum Lab and Renfroe Library, where she retired with over thirty-eight years of service.
Charity always held a great love and devotion to Mt. Olive Baptist Church. As a member she was the church pianist and along with her uncle Manuel Briscoe, she helped organize the Mt. Olive Singers. They performed gospel music in churches throughout Madison County. “In that way, we made many friends in Madison County,” she said.
Charity was an excellent cook and enjoyed helping Mt. Olive Baptist Church hold their annual fish fry. She was also featured in the State magazine for her famous apple stack cake!
Charity’s love for art and painting “was a gift, it wasn’t anything I learned,” she said. She began her art at age five at the Mars Hill Rosenwald School where the teacher allowed her to “doodle” as Charity described it. In retirement, she joined the weekly meeting Art Group, in Mars Hill, the Church Mice. Her watercolor paintings have brought pleasure to many near and far.
Charity worked to help rehabilitate the Rosenwald School Building where her art began. As an alumina, she served as a member of the Friends Group and member of their History Committee.
She also had a great love for plants and flowers and watching them grow. In her last years, she received great pleasure in feeding and observing her “wild friends,” the birds, squirrels, turkeys, and deer, feeding in her back yard.
Charity was also blessed to have two guardian angels, Flora Barnett, and Richard Dillingham while here on earth. Their friendship and devotion showed true Christian love. In addition to Flora and Richard the family would also like to thank the many residents of Mars Hill for keeping a watchful eye on Aunt Charity, everyone is truly appreciated.
A graveside service will be held 11:00am Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church Cemetery. Due to the COVID-19 the family will have an open visitation Tuesday, October 6, from 10:00am until 4:00pm at Blue Ridge Funeral Service for those who would like to pay their respects to Charity.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 | 10:00am - 4:00pm
    Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 10:00am - 4:00pm
    Blue Ridge Funeral Service
    7626 Highway 213
    Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Due to COVID-19 there will be an open visitation for anyone who would like to stop by to pay their respects to Charity.
  • Service

    Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 11:00am
    Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery
    311 Mount Olive Drive
    Mars Hill, NC 28754
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Graveside Service.


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Kathy Honeycutt Griffin

Posted at 09:15am
Friends sents 1990, worked with her as I attended MHC. I so loved her and later my family would become her and Dorothy's neighbor's in 2000 as our paths became connected again! She an Connie Cramer would get me to join the Church Mice painting 🎨 Group. I so enjoyed setting at the same table painting together! My kids loved her and Dorothy so much! Charity was so much more than just a friend to me! I miss you! Heaven is blessed with you in it's choir and painting silver lining s as you use your wings my friend!!! Condolences Kathy, Joseph and Sarah Griffin

Mary S. Graham Posted at 12:16pm

Condolences to the family.

Annette Cameron

Posted at 01:25pm
I was fortunate to know and work with Charity at Mars Hill College for twenty years. She was always so pleasant and cheerful and the absolute personification of "Sweet Charity." Additionally, I was also privileged to have received two of her paintings, which I proudly have hanging in my home. Heaven has welconed another angel. My sincere condolences to her family.

Deborah Vanhook

Posted at 12:49pm
I watched as Charity Ray painted this picture during the Church Mice Artists sessions and I fell in love with it. When I asked her if I could buy the painting from her, she laughed and said she would give it to me! I just could not agree to this so we finally agreed on a price that was way below its value. Charity was a sweet person and I feel honored to have known her.

Susan Kiser

Posted at 09:48am
Memories of Charity singing carols with the Church Mice Artists, Christmas, 2015. Charity's wonderful music will always be part of her legacy.

Sandra Jarrell

Posted at 12:20pm
Charity was kind, generous, talented in music and art, a wonderful cook and cake maker, and a humble Christian who willingly supported the musical part of any worship service she participated in. She was smart and helpful when asked for advice. In short, she was the ideal example of the Bible question, "Who is my neighbor?"

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