Cover photo for Doris (Clay)  Rakestraw's Obituary
Doris (Clay)  Rakestraw Profile Photo
1934 Doris 2020

Doris (Clay) Rakestraw

July 20, 1934 — August 21, 2020

Doris Clay Rakestraw was born in Hiram, GA on July 20, 1934 to the late Jerome and Thelma Clay. She passed away on August 21, 2020. She was preceded in death by her husband Wilbur Rakestraw, her sister Carolyn Brooks, and her sister Jerri Luttrell.

She was born the daughter of a sharecropper where she learned the value of hard work by working on the farm at an early age, along with her older sister Carolyn. Doris graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1952, married, and began a career at Century Insurance in Atlanta that lasted 17 years, reaching a supervisory position. At the age of 35 after thinking that she would not have children, she gave birth to her son Tom. She decided to make a career change to be more available for her family. Doris and her sister Carolyn decided to buy a floral business in downtown Dallas and named it Baxter and Brooks Florist. They were very engaged with the community and built life-long relationships with employees and customers. Their business grew quickly, and often it was so well that work was required late into the evenings and on weekends. Friends would come and work to help during peak times, and they would enjoy the fellowship and shared many meals and good times. After deciding to sell their floral business, Doris went on to be a bookkeeper for Kennestone Credit Union for six years, and then for Ajay Chemical for eleven years before retiring.

After divorcing, she started dating Wilbur Rakestraw, and they married in October 1989. Doris and Wilbur loved each other deeply and enjoyed each other's company greatly. They spent almost all of their time together until his death in May 2014. Doris was blessed to have Carlton, Cathy, and Clay as step-children whom she loved as her own.

Family and friends were so very important to Doris, and she deeply loved her parents, her sisters Caolyn and Jerri, her large extended family of grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. She always wanted to share and celebrate in their life events. She always strived to exemplify the Fruits of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-23 of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. She will forever be loved and missed by so many whose lives she has touched.

Doris had a long courageous battle with cancer that began in 2012. After enduring many years of treatment, she went to be with the Lord on August 21, 2020. Her lifelong faith was strong until the very end.

She is survived by her son, Tom Baxter and wife Melody; step-son Carlton Rakestraw and wife Paulette; step-daughter Cathy Barnette and husband Terry; step-son Clay Rakestraw; grandsons Grant Baxter, Brett Baxter, Wil Rakestraw, Allen Rakestraw, and granddaughter Ansley Stanton. Also great-grandchildren Wade Rakestraw, Ashton Rakestraw, Warner Rakestraw, and Kensley Rakestraw.

A Graveside service for Mrs. Rakestraw will be Friday, August 28, 2020 at 3:00 PM at Paulding Memorial Gardens Cemetery with Pastor Brad Benson officiating. The following gentlemen will serve as pallbearers; David Baxter, Wil Rakestraw, Allen Rakestraw, Grant Baxter, Brett Baxter, and Chase Baxter. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be; Dale Morris, Keith Davis, Larry Holland, Doug Morris, Joe Allen, Kenny Newman and Chris Holland. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Friday, August 28, 2020 from 12:00 PM until 2:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be made to First Baptist Church of Dallas in loving Memory of Mrs. Rakestraw.

To leave online condolences for the family, please feel free to visit our website at

Clark Funeral Home in Hiram, GA, is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doris (Clay) Rakestraw, please visit our flower store.


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