Alice “Kitty” Ray was born in Berrien County to Alvin “Buck” Castleberry and Alma Bennett Castleberry. Ms. Ray was a lifelong resident of West Berrien Community and was of the Baptist faith. She passed away at her home on July 7, 2023.
Kitty was a dedicated and accomplished nurse who devoted her career to caring for others and educating the next generation of nurses. She was a graduate of Berrien High School and Tift County School of Practical Nursing. She had been dedicated to the field of nursing since 1972 when she began her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. In 1982 Kitty earned her RN degree from ABAC. Then she earned her B.S.A. from Georgia Southwestern and her M.S.N. from Albany State University.
Kitty worked as a registered nurse until 1993, when she joined the faculty at ABAC as an instructor and assistant professor of nursing. In this role, she was dedicated to teaching and instructing nursing students, imparting her knowledge and experience to help them succeed in their own careers. Kitty was a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society and the National League of Nursing, and was recognized for her contributions to the healthcare field with ABAC’s Outstanding Health Care Professional Award in 2016.
In addition to her professional pursuits, Kitty was actively involved in the community as a board member for the American Heart Association, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, and a member of the advisory committee for the Tift County School of Practical nurses. She will be remembered for her dedication to her profession and her commitment to serving others.
In her retirement, she found joy in tending to her gardens and sharing the fruits of her labor with friends and family. Known for her skilled gardening, she was particularly fond of cultivating day lilies, and turnips. Her love of gardening extended to growing and sharing thousands of flowers, and she was renowned for growing and cooking the most delicious turnips and mustard greens. She was also known for her dimples and quick smile.
Kitty was preceded in death by her parents, & by a brother – in – law, Jim McBrayer, and a sister – in – law, Cora Ann Castleberry. Kitty is survived by her daughter, Kim Ray of Tifton; five siblings, Brenda McBrayer of Tifton, Sheila (Gene) Parker of Silver Creek, Raymond Castleberry of Lake Charles, LA, Jerry (Kelly) Castleberry of Bellingham, WA, Steve Castleberry of Cave Spring, and Stan Castleberry of West Berrien Community; many nieces, nephews, and cousins, who will all miss her.
Funeral services were held Monday, July 10, 2023 at Pine Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Mike Bennett, and Rev. Gerald Mallard officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery.
Serving as pallbearers are Kitty’s nephews, Lee McBrayer, Brian Jobe, Paul Castleberry, Parker Castleberry, Jey Castleberry, Jeremy Parker, Joel Parker, Jake Parker, Michael Baldree, and Ethan McBrayer. Honorary pallbearers are the nursing students and the nursing instructors at ABAC. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.purvisfh.com. Purvis Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.