Mary Magdalene (Nolen) Ray went to be with her Lord, that she had faithfully served for over 56 years, on January 31, 2023, at 80 years of age. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, James C. Ray, her sister Linda Joy Summers of Riverside, brother David Nolen of Elk City, Oklahoma and her two beloved sons, James and Jerry Ray. She had four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren whom she loved abundantly, along with so many cherished church family and friends who meant so much to her. She is preceded by her brother Rod Nolen, father Garvin Commodore Nolen and mother, Olivee Elizabeth (Carr) Nolen.

Mary met and married James C. Ray on May 14, 1960 at the Assemblies of God church in Dows Prairie. Mary was born in Delight, Arkansas on December 28, 1942. Her family moved to California at a young age. She attended grade school in Susanville and high school at Arcata High.

After her boys went into the military, Mary worked as a bookkeeper and later as a legal secretary. Mary would retire from Humboldt County Public Defender’s office, where she loved working and made life-long friends.

In 1993 James and Mary founded North Fork Full Gospel Community Church, where they have pastored for almost 30 years. Mary worked as the bookkeeper, piano player and Sunday school teacher. Over the years Mary used her God given musical talents to share the Good News by playing the accordion, piano and singing with her husband in such places as Pelican Bay State Prison, retirement homes and special meetings all over Northern California.

Those who knew Mary loved her quick wit and dry sense of humor. She loved to tease her husband and their banter was a source of hilarity for those around them. Mary exemplified the scripture Proverbs 18:22: Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. The family would like to thank the doctors at Open Door Clinic for their love and care for Mary as well as the Hospice nurses who were with us at the end.

Memorial Services will April 29 at 11 a.m. at North Fork Full Gospel Church in McKinleyville — 1675 Pickett Road. Potluck afterward at Azalea Park.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Mary Ray’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email