Memorial Chapel - Banning, California | Planning Center - Beaumont, California
Obituary of John Rayson
John “Thomas” Rayson was born in the Holland Quarters community of Carthage, TX, as the second of nine children from the union of John Esker Rayson and Johnnie Mae Bryant. At an early age he was given the nickname of “Lil’ Thomas” and “Thomas” by his family and friends. The nickname Thomas stuck and it is how he was referred until his recent sunset.
Thomas was educated in the Carthage Independent School District and attended both Carthage Colored High School and Turner High School in East Texas where he excelled in both Art and Drafting classes. He earned his high school diploma in 1953.
In 1955 Thomas moved to Banning, CA to live with his paternal aunt Monnie Lea (Shank) Thompson, her husband Jesse Thompson, and there small daughter Rebecca (Pooh) Thompson. Following in the footsteps of his uncle Jesse, who he strongly admired, Thomas began his work in the carpentry trade. Shortly thereafter he discovered that he had a “knack” for carpentry and was a natural craftsman.
Thomas met the former Mississippi native Rachel Jane Evans shortly after moving to Banning, and in Riverside, CA on September 3, 1957, they united in marriage. This union produced two daughters: Annette Rayson on June 28, 1959 and Laura Denise Rayson on July 9, 1962.
As his family and close friends know, Art (drawing), Drafting, Carpentry, and Home Building were his life-long passions. So it wasn’t a surprise when in the early 1970’s, while continuing to excel in his trade as a natural craftsman, Thomas took the formal steps toward his goal of becoming a master carpenter and received his General Contractors License in Home Building from the State of California.
During his early adolescent as a young boy in Texas Thomas accepted Christ. He served faithfully for many years under the leadership of Rev. J. P. Prior as active member of the First Missionary Baptist Church – Banning, CA – Deacon & Trustee Board.
Thomas is survived by his two daughters, Annette Rayson of Banning, CA and Laura Denise Rayson of Farmington Hills, MI, his wife Rachel Evans-Rayson of Banning, CA, and his granddaughter Dominique “Nikki” Marie Woods of Fontana, CA. Thomas also leaves behind 3 siblings/sisters: Mary Doris Blanton of Henderson, TX, and Odie Rayson and Zora Belle Cohen of Plano, TX along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.