Jean Rakes

Jean Smith Rakes

Sunday, April 15th, 1928 - Sunday, May 10th, 2020
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Jean Smith Rakes, 92, of Roanoke, Virginia, died on Sunday, May 10, 2020, in her residence at the Harmony Collection at Roanoke.
She was born on April 15, 1928, in Vinton, Virginia, daughter of Albert Anthony Smith and Virginia Holdren Smith. She graduated from William Byrd High School where she played the clarinet in the marching band. In 1953 Jean married Richard Carlyle Rakes.
She was an acclaimed singer/actress in Southwest Virginia, oft times soloist at Greene Memorial United Methodist Church as well as the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Jean is also known for her many duets with her friend, Margaret Thompson. Through the Showtimers, Roanoke College, et.al., she was featured in numerous Gilbert and Sullivan productions as well as the King & I and the title role in Menotti’s The Medium. In 1974, while still raising her three boys, she graduated from Roanoke College with a BA degree in Music. Jean’s other interests included ballroom dancing, which she shared with her children, volunteer work, gardening, world traveling and kitty cats. She was a longtime member of Green Memorial United Methodist Church where she was also a member of the choir and a member of the Virginia Choral Society.
Jean is survived by her sisters, Gladys Wilson and Shirley Nininger; sons, R. Bruce Rakes and his wife, Ellen, of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, Darryl L. Rakes of Roanoke, Virginia, and Alan A. Rakes and his wife, Karen, of Palm Bay, Florida; granddaughter, Jordan Rakes (Brooks); grandson, Colin Rakes; and various nieces and nephews.
A private family service will be held on Friday, May 15, 2020. She will be interred with her loving husband at Evergreen Burial Park.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to support the arts through the all-volunteer Showtimers Community Theater.
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Margaret Drody Thompson

Posted at 12:03am
Something told me to check on Jean this evening, and I was saddened to read of her

Jean and I always had great times together rehearsing and singing together for churches,
Conventions and organizations. And sometimes our husbands, Dick and Reed were happy
to be with us in the background helping with special effects, lighting or props.

I know Jean leaves a big hole in the lives of family and friends .She was a lovely, kind woman with a great talent.

Blessings on all her loved ones adjusting to this loss.

Love to you all,
Margaret Louise Drody Thompson
PInopolis, SC.
May 23, 2020

Joseph Rushbrooke

Posted at 05:36pm
Bruce and Ellen, Alan and Karen and Darryl,

So Sorry about the loss of your Mother and our very long and dear friend. We will miss her as we do your Father, Dick. So many good and happy memories we have been blessed to share with the two of them and you guys. Our condolences to all of you.

Alice and Joe Rushbrooke

William Magee

Posted at 12:15pm
We have a Treasury of memories of Jean Rakes: from Vinton in the '40's. as a bridesmaid in our wedding in 1954, to our girls and your boys kinda growing up together, mostly through Greene Memorial Church's Sunday School and MYF, to Kiwanis and Shenandoah Life events, to Hunting Hills Country Club, and after retirement just in other gatherings with mutual friends, and several memorable trips together. As aging began creeping up on us we have become separated too much. We now can only look forward to reuniting in the next life. Thanks be to God. Bill and Virginia Magee

Wanda and Dick Hancock

Posted at 02:20pm
We were saddened to learn of Jean's passing. She will always be one of our treasured memories. She beautifully sang at our church as well as at our wedding. Please know that our prayers for comfort and strength are with your family. Wanda and Dick Hancock

David Walden

Posted at 07:01pm
During the two years I knew Jean and Dick in the 1970s, Jean exemplified that rare combination of being refined and unpretentious.
David Walden

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