Bessie Lee Ray-Gaines, 75, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., passed away Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

Mrs. Gaines was born April 23, 1940 in Corning, the late Ennis James Brooks and Grace (Phelps) Brooks.

She was a member of Black Creek Missionary Baptist Church where she was a Sunday school teacher and church secretary.

Bessie spent a lifetime serving the Lord Jesus Christ and helping others.  She loved to teach children, whether it be at church, as a kindergarten teacher or a teacher’s aide.  She enjoyed spreading the gospel and singing at nursing homes with amazing grace.  She spent many years as a restaurateur at Ray’s Drive In, in Corning and Newberry’s store in Poplar Bluff. She also enjoyed painting, sewing, gardening and spending time with her family.

On December 22, 1959 she married Hubert Lloyd Ray.  He preceded her in death July 17, 2008.  Later she married William Lee Gains on May 21, 2011.  He passed away April 6, 2015.

Survivors include her children, Toni Howe and husband, Karl, Terry Ray and Roger Ray and wife, Angie; two sisters, Rhoda JoeAnn Taylor and Linda McCaig; one brother, E.J. Brooks and half-brother, Raymond Brooks; seven grandchildren, Jennifer Oakley (Stephen), Christopher Howe (Shina), Nicholas Howe, Alicia Marie Ray, Brittany Slayton (Cody), Baylee Ray and Brooks Ray; five great-grandchildren, Kaelyn Everett, Taylor Brown, Quinton Brown Landri Slayton and Averie Slayton.

Also preceding her in death are a sister, Mary Lou Farinella and half-sisters, Viola Richardson and Evelyn Brown, and half-brother, Eugene Brooks.

Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Fowler-Sullivan Funeral Home in Poplar Bluff, followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. in the chapel.  Bro. Cory McCaig and Troy Sisk will officiate.  Burial will be in the Black Creek Cemetery.