Ida Mae Beason Sealy died peacefully on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, at home with her daughter, Karen, in Hot Springs. She was born October 29, 1931 in Antioch, Arkansas, to the late Mary and C. F. (Frank) Beason.
Ida Mae began her education at Little Hope School, in a one room schoolhouse. She used kerosene lamps and candles to read and do her school-work before electricity was extended to the Antioch community. Her family later moved to Friendship where she met the love of her life, Rayvon Sealy. Ida Mae played girls basketball for the Friendship Bulldogs. She graduated from Friendship High School in May 1950 and two weeks following graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, Rayvon, on May 27, 1950. She and Rayvon had a double wedding ceremony with Jim and Lucille McMahan on the front porch of Pastor Earl Page. Rayvon and Ida Mae celebrated their anniversary with Jim and Lucille for years until health issues prevented the get togethers. Ida Mae and Rayvon were married over 60 years until his death in 2010.
God, Family and Community were of most importance to Ida Mae. She took her children to Sunday School, Church, Bible School and taught them to pray. She was a homeroom mother for her children while they were in school and attended basketball, softball, baseball, FHA, FFA, 4-H and any other events her children were involved. She was always supportive of her family and made personal sacrifices to ensure her children had what they needed. Ida Mae was a soft-spoken lady. If you have every read Proverbs 31, that describes the woman she was.
After her children were grown and had families, she received a special joy being a grandmother. She delighted in taking care of her grandchildren when they were young and then spending time with them as adults. Her great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren brought her even more happiness.
She was retired from the Arkadelphia Human Development Center. She had a special place in her heart for all the children there. She was a longtime member of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her sister Evelyn; her brothers Howard, Aster, and Doyle Beason; her husband Rayvon Sealy; her son Tony Sealy; and one son-in-law, Jorge Garcia.
She is survived by her daughters Karen Sealy Garcia of Hot Springs, Rhonda Sealy Thigpen (David) of Arkadelphia; grandchildren, Nick Matthews (Jamie) of Friendship, Ken Matthews of Donaldson, Zane Thigpen of Arkadelphia, Sealy Thigpen of Fayetteville, Jeff Garcia and Jennifer McEathron of Fairport, N.Y.; 11 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Adron Sealy (Lavern) of Malvern; sister-in-law Dorothy Sealy of Hot Springs; and numerous nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved also.
Memorial services will be Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Friendship at 10 a.m. with visitation at 9 a.m. Her nephew, Rev. Randy Gaither will be officiating. Pallbearers are Robert Sealy, Carl Sealy, Troy Sealy, Woody Gaither, Buddy Babb, Randy Hathcock, Michael Catlett, and Donny Cannon. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Ray Bollen and all the Arkansas Hospice Staff that helped keep Ida Mae comfortable during her final days. Internment will be held immediately following the service at Gilchrist Cemetery in Friendship.
Arrangements by Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home in Arkadelphia. Condolences to the family can be made at http:www.ruggleswilcox.com.