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Rachel Jane (Evans) Rayson
October 14, 1936 ~ December 13, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
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"Blessed are those that mourn for they will be comforted."
Rachel Jane Rayson
October 14, 1936 - December 13, 2023
Rachel Jane Evans was born on October 14, 1936, at 1:00 am in Newton County Mississippi as the ninth child of fifteen children from the union of Abron Evans, Sr., and LeeGirtha Love. She accepted Christ at an early age, and after baptism united with Brown Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Florence, MS.
Rachel attended Elementary, Junior High and High School in both Newton and Florence, Mississippi. In 1954 Rachel received her high school diploma from McLaurin High School in Florence MS, (but participated in the graduation ceremonies of Banning High School in June of that same year).
In April 1954 Rachel moved to Banning, CA with her mother and two younger siblings, Abron Evans, Jr and Betty Jean Evans, to escape the Jim Crow Era of the south.
In 1956 Rachel met John Thomas Rayson, a young carpenter apprentice originally from Carthage. TX. The two married a year later - September 3, 1957. The couple welcomed their first child, a baby girl Annette Rayson, in 1959. Two years later the family moved from their small one-bedroom apartment to a newly built home and welcomed their second child, another daughter, Laura Denise Rayson, in 1962. Rachel, being the typical "Southern Belle" took immense pride in her homemaking abilities and the raising of her girls often dressing them in matching outfits with bows and ribbons in their hair. In September of 1990, Rachel's only grandchild, Dominique "Nikki" Woods, was born to Annette Rayson and David Woods. Rachel was devoted to her granddaughter, and she played a vital part in assisting her daughter Annette in raising her.
Rachel joined First Missionary Baptist Church of Banning, CA in 1954. As a faithful member of First Missionary Baptist Church Rachel was loyal to the Ushers Board Ministry, Missions Sisters Ministry, Sunday School, Bible Study and Baptist Training Union (BTU), the Deaconess Board, and Vacation Bible School. She was also continually active in the Valley District Association and the California State Baptist Convention. She was also a community member as part of the Banning Anthropos Women's Club.
Rachel began her career in education as a teacher with The Riverside County Head Start program in Banning CA under the direction of Mrs. Tommye Lee Pellum. Rachel ended her teaching career at San Gorgonio Childcare Center in Banning, CA also educating at the pre-school level and holding the title of Assistant Director. Rachel was well-loved and respected as an educator by her students and peers. Known by students, parents, and teachers for her nurturing and honest yet stern approach, Rachel instilled knowledge and wisdom in all who had the privilege of knowing her as an educator.
Rachel's legacy continues through her daughters Annette Rayson of Fontana CA, Laura Rayson of Farmington Hills MI, granddaughter Dominique "Nikki" Woods of Fontana CA, sister Betty Law of Banning CA, and sisters in-law Candace Evans of Moreno Valley CA, Zora "Belle" Rayson - Cohen of Dallas, TX, and Odie Rayson of Banning CA, and a large host of nieces, nephews, cousins, along with her First Missionary Baptist Church family and many friends. Rachel was proceeded by her husband - John Thomas Rayson, father - Abron Evans, Sr., mother, LeeGirtha Love-Evans and fourteen siblings into eternity.
As we cherish and celebrate the life of Rachel Jane Rayson let us continue to carry out the legacy she set throughout her life.
• FAITH - Showing the love of God through discipline, empathy, and inclusion.
• FAMILY SUPPORT - Being there for one another, instilling wisdom, and strength.
• OPTIMISM - Pride in future generations.
• POSITIVITY - Choosing to see the best in others.
• A legacy of LAUGHTER!