Obituary of Mary Lou Rakes
On Saturday, April 29, 2023, Mrs. Mary Lou Rakes passed peacefully surrounded by family and friends at the age of 90. Mary Lou lived an amazing life and touched the lives of so many who knew her. She was born July 11, 1932 in Roanoke and lived there for most of her adult life. She was preceded in death by her parents, Eddie Lee and Sarah Hodges Murray; husband Earl Holmes Rakes; son, Davis Lee "Butch" Rakes; grandson, Alexander James Rakes; brother, Eddie Anderson Murray; brother-in-law, Nicholas John Arfaras; sister-in-law, Beverly Ann Rakes Whitefield; brother-in-law, Paul D. Mitchell; and a longtime family friend, L. Robert Vaughan.
Mary Lou graduated from Jefferson High School in 1950 and was a Charter Member of Northview United Methodist Church in Roanoke. She taught Sunday school, orchestrated many mother/daughter banquets and sang in the Northview choir for many years. Nurturing young children came naturally for this mother of five and she was an enormous positive influence as a mother and role model to so many children over many years. Mary Lou was immensely proud of her numerous children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She attended countless recitals, sporting events, weddings, graduations, and other family activities. Mary Lou had a phenomenal gift for making people in her life feel both welcomed and loved and she never met a stranger.
Mary Lou is survived by her four children, Barry Alan Rakes (Debbie) of Fincastle; Jeffrey Earl Rakes (Missy) of Midlothian; Pamela Sue Jennings (Cliff) of Roanoke; and Michael Anderson Rakes (Kathi) of Daleville; 15 grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; sister, Fran Arfaras of Trinity, Florida; sisters-in-law, Carolyn Rakes Mitchell and Linda Biggs Murray both of Roanoke; brother, Douglas Wayne Murray (Marty) of Roanoke; numerous nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to offer a very special thank you to Pilar and the Staff of At Home Caregivers for their many acts of kindness and compassion.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests that memorials be made to Northview United Methodist Church 521 Ridgecrest Drive Roanoke, VA 24019.
Funeral services will be conducted 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7, 2023 at Simpson Funeral Home 5160 Peters Creek Road by Pastor Doug Mitchell. Interment will follow in Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Simpson Funeral Home. 540-366-0707
In Loving Memory
Mary Lou Rakes
1932 - 2023
5160 Peters Creek Road
Roanoke, VA 24019
3912 Electric Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
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