Darla J. (Nesbit) Ray, 79, of rural Maquon, died peacefully at 7:20 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at Cottage Hospital in Galesburg. Darla was born Jan. 5, 1941, in Galesburg, the daughter of Walter Darwin and Lois Irene (Wilson) Nesbit. She was reared and educated in Altona and London Mills. She married Waldo "John" Ray Jr. on Jan. 5, 1959, in Abingdon. Darla is survived by her children, Darla JoAnn Ray of Peoria, Susan Diane Ray of Littleton, Colorado, and Cathy Colvin of Littleton, Colorado; her sister, Helen Essex of Knoxville; sister-in-law, Norma Nesbit of Galesburg; brother-in-law, Gilbert Lewis of Maquon; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Richard Allen; two brothers, Larry and Fred Nesbit; two sisters, Lois Ann (Glenn) Heckart and Linda Lewis; and two nieces, Lisa and Roxanne. She was a member of the Maquon United Methodist Church. She enjoyed babysitting; she loved those kids as if they were her own. She worked for 30 years at Knox County Nursing Home in the laundry and activity departments. She volunteered at the Cottage Hospital gift shop and was on the Maquon Cemetery Board. She loved to travel to Colorado to visit her daughters and loved watching her nieces, nephew, great-nieces and great-nephews play sports. She was an avid Cubs and Fighting Illini fan. She also greatly enjoyed playing BUNCO with her friends, watching game shows, bowling, and doing jigsaw puzzles in the winter. Darla was a devoted family woman, loved and was proud of her children, nieces, and nephews. To some she was like a Grandma, not an aunt. Her most kind and selfless act was when she donated a kidney to her brother, Larry, 35 years ago. She was a kind, beautiful, and fun-loving lady; she would do anything for anyone and she loved her family with all of her heart. A private graveside service will be held for the family at the Knoxville Cemetery in Knoxville. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Maquon United Methodist Church or Maquon Fire Department, and may be sent to Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Homes & Crematory at 120 South Public Square, Knoxville, IL 61448.
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