Lahoma Esther Sampsell Ray, loving Christian mother and friend, age 88, of Harriman, departed this earthly life and entered into the gates of heaven during the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.
"Acknowledging that her lengthy health struggles are over, we are assured through her faith and witness that she is whole, well and alive with our Lord and Savior," her family said.
She was at Ben Atchley State Veterans Home in Knoxville during the last six months. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Lonnie Earl Ray, Harriman; loving daughter, Carolyn Sue Ray, Cleveland; her parents, Charles and Mary Lou Sampsell; and brothers, Roy and Charles Sampsell.
She is survived by her loving daughters, Lalani E. Wright and husband Larry, Gallatin, and Mary Lea Byrd-Sullivan and husband Dr. Robert Sullivan, Lenoir City; brother, Elbert Sampsell, Hopewell, Va.; five grandchildren, Sandi Wright, Spring Hill, Fla., Matthew Wright, Austin, Texas, Rachel Beth Estep (Chris), Corinth, Miss., Leslea Byrd, Arlington, Va., and Eric Byrd, Murfreesboro; three great-grandchildren, Skyler, Grady and Abigail Cate Estep, Corinth.
She was blessed to have a wonderful staff and support systems. She was blessed to have compassionate and loving caregivers for the last five years of her life, Patti McFarland, Freda Prichard and Celesta Rhoden.
Funeral service will be at noon Saturday, Jan. 5, in Kyker Funeral Home chapel, Harriman, with the Rev. Edsel West officiating. Burial will be at Roane Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 5. www.kykerfuneralhomes.com