Betty Lou Ray was born on December 20, 1939, to the late William Taft and Inez Womack in Saint Paul’s, North Carolina. She received her education in Saint Paul’s, graduating with the honor of valedictorian from Saint Paul’s City School. Betty graduated from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in Pre Med before moving north to be with the love of her life. Betty met John Paul Ray in elementary school. They remained friends and developed a relationship that culminated in their marriage on March 19, 1962. Shortly after, they relocated to Washington, D.C. where they started their family. From this union, three children were born: a son, Kevin, and twin daughters, Paula and Paulette.
While raising her children, she later focused on early childhood development education and created a daycare serving the needs of friends and the greater community. Once her children were in school, she, with her entrepreneurial spirit, provided her southern dishes, hair styling, and cake baking to friends and family. When she was blessed with eight grandchildren, she exposed them to fine dining experiences, trips, family traditions, and various cultures. In 2001, Betty’s Fantastic Cakes was created. Her business flourished through her status as an owner and a socialite and gained connections with delegates, celebrities, and business owners. Once her business added wedding cakes, Betty spread joy across the Metro DMV area and stretches between New York and Florida. Betty’s Fantastic Cakes successes culminated in a partnership with Jerry’s Seafood restaurant in Bowie, Maryland. In 2020, she joined her daughters and became the Head Chef of their catering company, P&P Catering.
Betty was a faithful servant of God, a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, entrepreneur, grandma, and friend. She thoroughly enjoyed gardening, going to parties, hosting extravagant events, and engaging in conversation with anyone. Betty further spread her love to others through her cooking, as people would line up waiting for a piece of fried fish from her skillet. She loved listening to music from her generation, including smooth jazz played by the 105.9 and Sirius XM Watercolors stations. She truly loved being surrounded by family and family gatherings. Betty also enjoyed rooting for her beloved Dallas Cowboys every Sunday and tuning into any basketball game in person or on TV. As a kind, loving, gentle and classy woman, she encouraged everyone to treat others with respect and to strive for their greatest potential. Some of her favorite sayings included “I reckon,” “Love everybody,” “In the name of Jesus,” “God almighty knows,” “The two birds in the hand beats one in the bush,” and “Help me the holy ghost.”
On October 29, 2022, Betty transitioned to be with the Lord, leaving to cherish her legacy and memory, her son; Kevin Ray, daughters; Paula Ray–Miles (Bruce) and Paulette Plater (James); nine grandchildren, Charese Williams, Jasmine Armstrong, Tiana Ray, Arriana Willacy–Ray, Jalen Plater, Jordan Plater, Bryan Miles, Ryan Miles and Julian Simpson; one great-grandchild, Ahmina Fuller-Bey; two sisters, Margie Lewis and Bernadine Womack Peterson; one brother, Curtis Womack; two nieces, Sherry Lewis, Shamina Womack; eight nephews, Dwight Lewis, Curtis Womack, Justin Womack, Colin Womack, Eric Womack, Christopher Womack, Taibu Womack, and Rashan Womack; cousins Desiree Williams, and Wilma Breeden and a host of other relatives and friends.
Thursday, November 10, 2022
First Baptist Church of Glenarden
3600 Brightseat Rd. Landover, MD 20785
Visitation: 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Service: 11:00 AM
Interment: Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Nov. 28th
Condolences may be expressed on the above Tribute Wall