Cover photo for Dr. Nichole Michelle Ray's Obituary
Dr. Nichole Michelle Ray Profile Photo
1977 Nichole 2024

Dr. Nichole Michelle Ray

March 31, 1977 — June 12, 2024

Athens

Dr. Nichole Michelle Ray was born on March 31, 1977, in Louisville, Kentucky to the union of Deborah Lockhart and Phillip Ray. She went to be with the Lord on June 12, 2024. Nichole was baptized with her siblings at the age of 9 years old at Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church in Jonesboro, Georgia. She remained a dedicated and faithful servant of the youth dept, under the leadership of the late Sherman Freeman. She was a lead soprano of the UMC youth choir, but her faith was cemented and grounded in her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Nichole was educated in the Louisville and Georgia private and public-school systems. She was a straight A honor student and a member of the Student Council. On numerous occasions, she was selected to speak on behalf of her class. Dr. Ray graduated with honors from Morrow HS in 1995. 

Nichole fell in love with the University of Georgia with her first visit. She knew she had found her home in Athens, Georgia. She started her love of education with the pursuit of her bachelor’s degree and continued with her master’s and Doctoral degree. Dr. Ray became a triple dawg, and her love of education was evident with her insatiable passion to not only teach, but to learn. She was recently promoted as a Principal Lecturer for the Department of Women Studies. Dr. Ray was a dedicated professor at the University of Georgia for 20 years until her earthly departure.

On January 25, 2001, Nichole gave birth to the love of her life, Messiah Sol Ray-Callahan. She was a faithful, dedicated and loving mother. Throughout her illness, her desire was to see her son graduate from high school and college, and she did. She instilled in Messiah the love of God, family and respect for others. Nichole was a constant supporter of Messiah’s aspirations and creative endeavors. 

Dr. Ray made a choice to live, love and thrive. She was a giver of grace and saw the best in people, even when they couldn’t see it for themselves. She loved to travel and indulged in great food. Her greatest joy was to be with her family and serving others faithfully. She was a protector and provider of her parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and loved ones. This was her legacy and her greatest lesson, to all who were fortunate enough to meet her on her path, was “to live in your light by serving your highest purpose”. She was light.

Dr. Nichole Michelle Ray was preceded by her brother, Kirk “Duke” Lawrence, grandparents, Bobby Lockhart and Clara Ramsey, George and Vallie Ray and George and Dorothy Lawrence. Dr. Ray leaves to cherish her memory, her loving son, Messiah Sol Ray-Callahan, dedicated parents, Deborah Lockhart Lawrence and Timothy Lawrence, Phillip and Deborah Ray; her beloved sister, and nephew, Tiffany Lawrence and Kirkland Nash; her bonus siblings, Teran Lawrence, Thomas Bradley, Michelle Stigall, Michael Moss Jr. and beloved cousin, Valerie Roberts-Allen. She leaves behind a host of great aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She will be forever remembered by her godson, David Hill Jr. She will be sadly missed by her loving confidantes and caregivers, Katlyne Hill, Nicky Jones, Jesslyn Shields and too many to name. “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, June 18 at Lord and Stephens, East Chapel at 1:00 p.m. The family will receive friends for one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Athens Memory Gardens. 

The family suggests that guests wear bright, happy colors in celebration of Nichole's homegoing. 

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens, GA, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Nichole Michelle Ray, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lord & Stephens Funeral Homes Athens

4355 Lexington Road, Athens, GA 30605

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Celebration of Life

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lord & Stephens Funeral Homes Athens

4355 Lexington Road, Athens, GA 30605

Livestream

Click to watch

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Interment

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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