Cover photo for Mary Ann Wharton Ray's Obituary
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Mary Ann Wharton Ray

February 25, 1930 — May 15, 2022

AIKEN, SC - Mary Ann Wharton Ray, age 92, passed away peacefully on May 15, 2022 at her residence in Aiken.  She was born February 25, 1930 in Spartanburg, SC to the late William Wallace Wharton Sr. and the late Mary Rountree Wharton Lloyd and graduated from Columbia High School.  She married James (Jim) Carl Ray on September 1, 1956 after meeting him at a USO dance in Columbia and they enjoyed 50 years together before his sudden passing in 2006.  She worked at Southern Bell while Jim attended USC and received his Electrical Engineering degree with the GI Bill.  Mary Ann became a homemaker once they started a family.  The Ray family moved from Columbia with Jim’s SCE&G job to St. Matthews briefly and then settled in Aiken in 1969. 

     Mary Ann was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her brother William Wallace Wharton Jr., and her son William Russell Ray.  She is survived by her sons Joel Stuart Ray (Elaine) and Jeffrey Wallace Ray (Margaret), and grandchildren Daniel Scott Ray, Jessica Lauren Ray, Michael James Ray, Collin Frederik Ray (Lauren), Abigail Elizabeth Ray, and David McIntosh Ray.  Mary Ann was very proud of her children and grandchildren and loved them dearly.   

     The competitor Mary Ann enjoyed success in both tennis and bridge.  As a Gamecock fan, winning was not as common.  Mary Ann and Jim loved Airstream camping in their later years and working as hosts at the Palmetto Cove RV Park in the upstate of SC.  Mary Ann served on the Aiken Heart Board and she and Jim volunteered at Aiken Regional Medical Centers with the Hospital Auxiliary for many years.  She was a longtime member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Aiken and was active in the Francis Asbury Sunday School Class.

     Special thanks to Trinity Hospice and their staff for making Mary Ann comfortable since October 2020.  The family also appreciates the love and care given to her by her caregivers which allowed her to live in her own home over the last decade.  Thank you Lena, Glenda, Frances, Paulette, Melissa, Joanne, Chelsea, Beth, Shannon, Patricia, Diane and Tina.  Mary Ann was a strong-willed person and fought serious health battles with a fury until the end and is now with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.    

     A visitation will be held from 5 to 7 pm on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at Shellhouse-Rivers Funeral Home, 715 East Pine Log Rd, Aiken, SC 29803.  A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 11:00 am at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 104 Newberry St. NW, Aiken, SC 29801 followed by a reception in Ward Hall.  Private interment will be in Bethany Cemetery.

     Memorials made by made to St. John’s Missions at St. John’s UMC, PO Box 809, Aiken, SC 29802 or to the Parkinson’s Foundation at


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Shellhouse - Rivers Funeral Home

715 E Pine Log Rd
Aiken, SC 29803

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Memorial Service

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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St. John's United Methodist Church

104 Newberry St NW
Aiken, SC 29801

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*Standard text messaging rates apply.



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