Carrie Walls Kellogg Ray was born in New Anchorage, Kentucky, the second of five children, four boys and one girl, of the Rev. William Pitt Kellogg and Fannie L. Gassaway Kellogg. She was born in a home that nurtured academic and musical pursuits.
Her parents were college graduates and her grandmother was in the first class at Spelman College. As the daughter of a Methodist minister, she lived in several states, all enhancing her overall growth and development. Additionally, her
father was an outstanding singer which possibly influenced her life and career.
Upon completion of her early childhood education, she matriculated at Knoxville
College, Knoxville, Tenn. and majored in voice and piano. Administrators and professors marveled at her superb talent and articulated the college’s desire for just such a voice which was augmented with Carrie’s outstanding piano performances. She and her brothers, Emmett and John, did “The Trio” by Faust
across the country enriching the parishioners in Black churches.
Carrie earned an undergraduate music degree in 1940, and a master’s in the same at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, where she met the love of her life, William Benjamin Ray, to whom she was joined in holy matrimony Sept. 1, 1949. They were married by her father in Springfield, Ohio.
Carrie’s career encompassed many roles: teaching voice in Warrenton, North Carolina Experimental School; voice and choir director at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.; instructor and choir director in high schools in Cleveland; instructing in music in Anne Arundel County, Md. schools and giving many private lessons.
She was devoted to the church and grew up in a nuclear family where the church was a centerpiece. Not only was she active with the Knoxville College Alumni Association, she lent her energies and talents to the Alpha Wives, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Gamma Boulé Wives of Sigma Pi Phi
She is survived by her beloved husband, Dr. William Benjamin Ray; two sons, Alexander Pierre and William Benjamin, Jr. (both residents of California); two granddaughters, Jenna and Janine, students at Spelman College; sister-in-law, Nora Kellogg; numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of friends. Her brothers, Emmett, William, John, and Charles, preceded her in death.
Indescribable strands of melodic music, coupled with powerful arias of her favorite operas embrace her as she journeys to eternal rest. Her love lasts in those who mourn her
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