Rachel Lee (Willis) Cordray passed away on Monday, June 22, 2020 at the age of 84. The daughter of James Thomas and Vina Mae (Jones) Willis. Rachel was born on November 11, 1935 in Scipio, Oklahoma. She was a small-town girl growing up in the area of 5-mile near the town of Kiowa, Oklahoma and attended a one-room school house prior to attending high school at Limestone Gap with a graduating class of five people. Her love of basketball started while attending high school as she played defense for the women’s basketball team.
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Upon graduation in 1954 she set her sights for the urban charms of Oklahoma City. Within the first year she met the love of her life, Donald Lee Cordray, in a grocery store in downtown Oklahoma City. She was shopping for cereal and he was shopping for girls. They married on June 17, 1955 and recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Their union produced three children, which she considered her greatest accomplishment. She was a devoted mother who encouraged and sometimes cajoled her children to participate in band, scouting, sports, dance and educational advancement. Her children’s accomplishments are a true reflection of her love and devotion.
After the children flew the coop, Rachel worked twenty years at Dillard’s and devoted countless hours serving as a foster grandparent and as a volunteer at Integris Hospital. When she could break away from the lure of Thunder basketball she loved to travel with her family and experienced many fun adventures including trips to South Africa, Italy, Germany, Austria, France, London, Puerto Vallarta and Martinique, as well as our annual family vacations across the United States. She was a devotee of the arts and frequently accompanied her daughter to various plays and ballets. She was an avid collector of nativity figurines and has a collection from all over the world. Rachel was a “fashionista” and loved the many shopping trips with her daughters. She was also an early adaptor of technology and could not be without her iPad.
Rachel was a sweet, kind and genuine person, with a quiet gracefulness. She had a giving heart and was always available when someone needed her love and support. As a regular church goer, she found solace in her faith. Rachel was a wonderful, wife, mother, aunt and friend and she will be greatly missed.
She was preceded in death by her parents, James Thomas and Vina Mae Willis, brother Thomas Willis, sisters Imogene Morrison & Cathrene Howerton, & nephew Alfred Howerton. She leaves cherished memories with her loving husband, Donald Lee Cordray of OKC; son Steven Cordray & Carole Richards of Ivins, Utah; daughter Tracey Cordray and Les Lewis of North Richland Hills, TX, & daughter Kelley Cordray & Roger Heiliger of OKC; Granddogs, Sydney, Madison, Gracie, & Buster; nieces & nephews, Penny Bishop, Stephanie Holcomb, Dan Howerton and Ramona Howerton, as well as great nieces & nephews.