Viewing will be held on Friday, August 4, 2023 from 5-8pm for the public. Services will be held the following day, Saturday, August 5, 2023 at 11am at St. John AME, 1845 N. Peoria Ave., Tulsa, Ok 74106.
Her life began Christmas Eve, 1948, in the small town of Wagoner, Oklahoma. She was the baby of three children born to Henry and Augusta Ray. The Rays eventually picked up and move to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Oma was about 5 years old when her parents purchased a new home at 2519 N Xanthus Ave; The home that Oma still owned and occupied up until the day of her death.
Oma’s educational journey started with Marion Anderson Junior High, where she graduated with honors. Then became a “Mighty Hornet” at Booker T. Washington High School, where she also graduated with honors, and was 1st attendant for the class of 1967. Oma then moved to Lawton Oklahoma, where she studied X-Ray, and became the 1st Technician in the State to perform what we now know as the Mammogram.
Oma would eventually give birth to her 1st and only child, Gregory Wydell Ray- Thank You Margret “Momma” Jackson for giving me my name. She saved me. Because my mother was going to name me “Earl Leron” OMG!
During the 70s, She continued her career as an X-Ray Tech, working for the legendary Morton Health Center. Oma changed career paths and started working for the AVIS Rental Car Company. This is where she completed her work life and retired after 28 years of service.
Oma had many personal accomplishments. In the 80s she received an accommodation from the United States Secret Service for the work she had done on a Democratic Party Campaign. Also, Oma once held the position of Worthy Matron, of the Local Oklahoma Eastern Star, Golden Rule Chapter 117. Oma was most known for her work as a member of the Tulsa Public School Board. She was passionate about the fight to put Black History back in the Tulsa’s Public School Curriculum. Oma once made the headlines of both the Oklahoma Eagle and Tulsa World, for holding out with a NO vote on a critical issue involving school reorganization.
Oma Jean Ray-Copeland was “Hard But Fair” and always fought for change!
Oma is preceded in death by her parents: Henry and Augusta. two brothers: Don Oliver and Sherman Ray. She leaves behind a son, Gregory Ray (Karla), Grandchildren: Jordan(30) and Noah(23), and Nieces and Nephews: Darlin Michelle McKinney, Trisza, Lisa, Patrick, William and Adrian Ray.