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 Bessie Francis <I>Wehmeyer</I> Rayl

Bessie Francis Wehmeyer Rayl

Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, USA
Death 22 Jul 2002 (aged 78)
Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, USA
Burial Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 6627765 · View Source
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Bessie was born in the northeast part of Sedalia at 408 N. Hurley Street, the 6th of 10 children of William F. Wehmeyer (1889-1957) and Martha Francis (Sebree) Wehmeyer (1896-1943).

When she was four years old she moved with her family to east of Cole Camp, Missouri. She started school at the Bahrburg school at Brauersville, which was about 3 miles from the family's home. The family moved to what was known as the Steffens farm west of Cole Camp when she was in the 2nd grade. Later, they moved to the Molder farm, located southeast of Sedalia near Flat Creek Baptist Church, where the Wehmeyer kids sometimes attended.

Her siblings are:
Bernice Thelma Wehmeyer Ficken (1915-1988)
Samuel Vernon Wehmeyer (1918-1969)
Willie Mae (Wehmeyer) Schneider (1919-2004)
Forest Ervin Wehmeyer (1921-1921)
John Marshall Wehmeyer (1922-_____)
William Frederick "Fred" Wehmeyer (1926-1964)
Katherine Josephine (Wehmeyer) Schuerman (1929-____)
Mabel Euphemia "Feam" (Wehmeyer) Chiles (1931-____)
Delores Wehmeyer Morris (1935-1988)

In the early 40's, she was persuaded by a girlfriend of hers to go to a dance held in the back of the local general store at Dresden, Missouri-west of Sedalia. She went along. It was there that she met Wilbur Rayl. Wilbur asked her to dance. She accepted and that began a great romance. However, she was already engaged to another man. But when she met Wilbur, she knew she would break off the engagement and she did. She gave back the engagement ring and went back to Wilbur. They courted and
on January 9, 1943 Bessie married Wilbur Charles Rayl at the Pettis County (Missouri) Courthouse. On January 15th, just six days later, Wilbur left to serve our nation in the Army. While he was in the Army, Bessie lived in an apartment in nearby LaMonte. However, she moved back to Sedalia before Wilbur returned from the war December 23, 1945.
Five children were born to Wilbur and Bessie:
5 Children were born to Bessie & Wilbur:

Wilbur Eugene, currently of Fremont, Neb.

David Charles, who preceded his parents in death after living only 1 day in 1946. He is buried at Memorial Park.

Russell Lee, of rural Smithton

Sharon Kay, rural Smithton

Peggy Diane, of Sedalia

On September 1, 1947, the Rayl family moved to 521 E. 14th Street. As many of you may know, Wilbur worked for the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline until he retired in 1980 and Bessie worked for Rival for 15 years, also retiring in 1980. They remained at 521 E. 14th St for the remainder of their lives, though many alterations and remodelings occurred since they first moved there. They raised their family there, welcomed friends and neighbors, grandchildren and relatives. It has been a great place to stop by and set at the kitchen table, or out on the porch.

She enhanced the world through her involvement in the PTA, her showing her doll collection, her quilting, and gardening. Her life was enhanced through traveling and being a member of the Jolly Elders, Fishing with Wilbur, and visiting with the people in her life.

God played a strong role in her life. Her and Wilbur were founding members of the New Hope Baptist Church, where she would teach Sunday School and was involved for many years.

Her story is an inspirational story for us all to be blessed. Her life on earth has represented a life of values, roots and heritage. Oh, many of us got to hear her fuss about a few things, but we also got to see her delight about so many more things. Her presence in the life of her family and friends and her Lord was a steady one. Many if not all of us know that Bessie struggled a lot with her health for many years now. Her endurance and strength was inspirational. How hard it was for her after Wilbur passed. She missed him so much.

But she loved her family and always shared of how she enjoyed visits and time spent with them.

May we all treasure her memory. May those memories be a spark to fan the flame of inspiration. And in times like these, I think we are called to hold on to the best of what Bessie was. To embrace her strengths, to learn from her weaknesses, and to therefore make a greater difference in our lives and in our world.




  • Created by: Russell Smith
  • Added: 22 Jul 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6627765
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bessie Francis Wehmeyer Rayl (20 Mar 1924–22 Jul 2002), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6627765, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Russell Smith (contributor 20007978) .