Ruby Elizabeth Ray Mackie

by | April 5, 2017 12:02 pm

Ruby Elizabeth Ray Mackie, 100, of Cookeville, passed away April 3, 2017, at her residence.

Mrs. Mackie was born Oct. 21, 1916, in White County, to William Stipes “Jake” Ray and Eliza Hampton Ray.

She was the second daughter and the seventh of 11 children. Mrs. Mackie’s mother died when she was 14, leaving behind Ruby and four younger siblings, with the youngest being 20 months old. Mrs. Mackie was left with the daunting task of caring for herself and her siblings in rural White County during The Depression, without electricity or inside plumbing.

She accepted the responsibility with a positive outlook, always doing what was necessary and never complaining about the tough road she was to walk. This positive acceptance continued throughout her life with any challenge that she faced.

Mrs. Mackie’s first job outside her home was at the Sparta Shirt Factory when she was in her early 20’s. She relished in the fact that she was earning money. Living her teenage years during The Depression, she was dedicated to saving her money and spending prudently, another trait that remained with her throughout her life.

Mrs. Mackie met her husband, Elbert Lee, walking between home and church in the early 40’s. They were married on April 4, 1942. This was right in the middle of World War II. When Elbert joined the Army, Mrs. Mackie followed him to his first assignments in Michigan. After Mr. Mackie’s deployment to Europe, she returned to Michigan where she worked at the Willow Run plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, riveting a bracket on the door of the B-24 Liberator bombers used during World War II. She fell into the category of those women referred to as “Rosie the Riveter”.” She was heard to say this was the best job (meaning lucrative) she ever had.

Following World War II she began her life’s work as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and aunt. She was fiercely protective and loyal to her family. As her siblings died, she continued to make sure their children were OK. When it came to her immediate family she was a constant source of love and providing for their needs.

Mrs. Mackie was an avid and successful gardener, planting by the signs of the moon. Not only did she and her husband maintain a very productive garden but she also preserved the produce of the garden throughout the summer months via canning and freezing food for the winter.

Mrs. Mackie’s faith in God was obvious in all her actions. She was a “child of God” and instilled in her children this same faith-filled heart. Continuing into her last days, she sang gospel songs and read her Bible or asked it to be read to her. Mrs. Mackie’s faith in God was the backbone of her life. She could be heard singing gospel songs as she happily went about her daily work, both as a child at her home and as an adult in her and Mr. Mackie’s home. Seeing that her children were raised in church was a priority.

She was a member of Eastwood Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Elbert Lee Mackie; seven brothers and six sisters-in-law, Casto and Jenny Ray, Dan and Sula Ray, Will and Rowena Ray, Hill and Tommie Ray, Dempsey and Rosamond Ray, Erbie and Nell Ray, Bethel Ray; and three sisters and brothers-in-law, Almira and Luther Graham, Bonnie and Doyle Nash, Mildred and Beryl Malone.

She is survived by two daughters and a son-in-law, Gail Smith, of Cookeville, Karen Stamey and Eddie Jones, of Sparta; two sons and daughters-in-law, Richard and Linda Mackie, of Sparta, Ray and Beverly Mackie, of Cookeville; seven grandchildren, Chris Stamey, of Florida, Candy Stamey Pearson, of Nolensville, Brett (Casey) Mackie, of Johnson City, Tyler (Jessica) Mackie, of Johnson City, Megan (Nathan) Mathis of Meridianville, Alabama, Chad (Katey) Mackie, of Cookeville, Felicia Mackie, of Sparta; sister-in-law, Bonnie Ray, of Antioch, and 12 great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Brett Mackie, Tyler Mackie, Chad    Mackie, Canaan Mackie, Steven Pearson, and Nathan Mathis.

Honorary pallbearers are Chris Stamey, Preston Stamey, Tatum Mackie, Maverick Mackie, Eli Mathis and Hudson Mackie Holtzclaw.

The family would like to thank the loving and respectful caregivers that have been with their mother over the past several years.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m., April 7, at the Cookeville Chapel of Hooper Huddleston and Horner Funeral Home, with burial in Cookeville City Cemetery. The Rev. Eddie Payne and the Rev. Jack Taylor will officiate. The family will receive friends 5-8 p.m. April 6, and 9-11 a.m., April 7, at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mustard Seed Ranch, 4955 Kuykendall Rd., Cookeville, Tennessee 38501, or Debbie and Verlin Anderson, missionaries to Africa (payable to: CHSC with Anderson #0118 in memo line) Christian Health Services Corp (CHSC) P. O. Box 132, Fruitvale, Texas 75127 or online:

Hooper Huddleston and Horner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

comments » 2

  1. Comment by Cat Pol

    April 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Aunt Ruby…you we’re an amazing woman. Full of life and love. I wish I would have made more visits over the years to see you. You will be greatly missed by so many and will live in the hearts of all of us forever.

  2. Comment by Elijah Castelli

    April 6, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Love Ms. Mackie
    I’ll never forget her coming to visit with my grandma Maple Gray regularly . Love Ms. Mackie she is a jewel a rare person who cared so much for others

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