Carol Ray Announcement
FEBRUARY 10, 2022
To the Notary2Pro Community: the following note concerns a sad announcement and much of a personal nature concerning Carol Ray.
As some of you may have seen on Facebook, our mom, Carol Ray, passed away on February 6th, 2022 at home surrounded by her family. We have had many discussions with our mom about how to best continue her legacy over the last year. She was so excited about the plans we made, the steps we have taken, and the progress achieved to assure that Notary2Pro will thrive and continue to help her students and the community well into the future. Thank you for being so supportive of our mom, Carol Ray, and, on her behalf, for your friendship.
Our mother had many roles in her life, Mom to me, my sisters Barbara and Lori, and our spouses Irma and Dave, wife of almost 60 years to our father Bill, sister to her siblings Bob, Ian, and Jim, “Aunt Carol” to a plethora of nieces and nephews, and “Grammy”, her very favorite title, to her granddaughters, Chelsea and Caitlin. As her family, we were very privileged to know Mom as genuinely warm, outrageously generous, constantly encouraging, often funny, quirky, and always optimistic. She was a woman both sincerely humble and wickedly smart.
No letter can begin to capture all the aspects of someone with as rich a character, history, and qualities as my mom, but let me share a little with you. Our mom was a fantastic cook whose point of pride was making sure no one ever walked away from her house or her table hungry. She was a skillful poker player, often underestimated. She consistently won in poker clubs and Nevada casinos, once winning a $25,000 jackpot. Her brothers remember her as a wild and fearless young woman jumping into her car on a Friday night and driving from LA to Vegas or San Diego to see the sights. My siblings and I knew her as loving and adventurous, bundling all the kids into the car and rumbling down PCH listening to Roger Miller for a week of beach camping.
I can’t begin to recount it all, but most importantly, we all remember mom as always smiling. No matter the adversity, she found a bright side to every problem and the solution to every dilemma. Our parents had much hardship and many difficulties in their lives together. No matter what they faced, they did so together and always with mom firmly deciding that things had worked out “for the best”. During the 70s, financial hardships required our parents to move the five of us into a tiny battered mobile home on a relative’s ranch in rural Texas. Working difficult jobs for long hours and little money, mom never complained. Instead, she took joy in her long walks on the ranch, learning to shoot a .22 pistol, and writing clever, quirky poetry. She never spoke of the many hardships (and there were many). Instead, she recounted the extraordinary life experiences and the fact that this time had brought us closer together as a family. That is how it was with our mom. Every hardship was a learning experience. Every setback was a chance to grow. Each challenge was a blessing, and all her memories became remarkable experiences to share with others.
Our mother was born in 1943 and grew up very much a child of the ’50s. She was Chubby Checker, not The Beatles. I don’t think her parents ever thought of encouraging her to go to college. They assumed she would many a nice Jewish boy, perhaps a lawyer, and raise children. When she married “that cowboy”, my father, they disowned her and reconciled only after my birth. Mom was an incredibly bright and successful A student at Whittier High School. She might have had any career she wanted.But she became a full-time mom and worked a series of jobs where she always rose to the top.
At Security Pacific Bank, she quickly ascended from a secretarial job into senior escrow roles. When she sold Tupperware, she quickly became a district manager and was awarded an enormous station wagon. As a child, I still remember watching her in awe as she gave a speech to thousands of “Tupperware Ladies” at a convention center in Los Angeles. Our Mom and Dad went from delivering documents to founding their own messenger business. Our mother, a classic movie fan, loved recounting all the Hollywood celebrities she’d delivered scripts to. George Segal once handed her his apple in exchange for a script.
While in their early fifties, my parents decided to retire early, buy an RV and travel the United States. When she decided to do something, it was sudden and completely and totally all in. She was fearless, always knowing all would turn out for the best. She was often right, and occasionally not so much. It was part of mom’s generous nature to always share her knowledge and experience with others. She was always teaching and mentoring. So later, when our mom decided to turn all their experiences and mistakes into a book she self-published and sold on a new thing called Amazon, we were not surprised. Her book “Your Home on Wheels” would become a best seller for many years. She later recounted, with laughter and amazement, how she’d spoken with a “nice young man” named Jeff Bezos about her book.The book remains a wonderful representation of her, hilariously funny, quirky, self-deprecating, encouraging, and generous with insights and information.
After starting their Notary business, once again, our mom looked for a way to share her knowledge and experience. Many people were struggling financially. Out of her loving desire to help, she encouraged and mentored many to pursue a career as a professional signing agent Ultimately this would become Notary2Pro, through which many of the readers here on Facebook know her. Again, this was mom, her fearless heart, optimistically focusing on helping people. Her sincere encouragement of students, her infectious optimism, and the boundless generosity of herself, her time, and her resources helped make the business a success. Every student was a dear friend, and every friend, a member of the Notary2pro family. Many people loved our mom and have shared with us how she changed their lives, helped them with a new career, gave advice or practical help and encouragement to overcome challenges they were experiencing. She helped many people obtain jobs, clothing, office equipment, and even housing when in need. Mom never thought she deserved any credit or praise for the help she provided.
She was sincerely humble about her achievements. Knowing she had helped someone always brought her great joy and was its own reward. We have spent many days and hours over the last months and in the days since her passing talking about her, and one word keeps emerging; heart. My mom was all heart. A Fearless Heart, always al-in for what she thought was right and best. A Loving Heart, doing what she knew would help others.
She was not particularly religious; however, our mom inculcated her children in the rule she lived by her whole life. From Mathew 7 or Luke 6, the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” My mom lived this rule and wholly internalized a generous and giving Heart Our family asks that instead of flowers, please donate to her favorite charity, St. Jude Research Hospital, if you would like to do so (https://www.stjude.org).
If you have an experience with our mom that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you, and you can do that by responding on the Notary2Pro Facebook page or by contacting us directly.