Alesha Grace a.k.a. Billye Maye Rainey, age 81, a longtime resident of Troy, Alabama, passed away Monday, October 26, 2020, at home surrounded by loved ones. A funeral service will be held Thursday, October 29, 2020, at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Troy with Reverends Steve Winton and Jim Dannaly officiating. Burial will follow in Green Hills Memorial Cemetery with her grandsons and nephews serving as pallbearers. Green Hills Funeral Home directing. Visitation will be Wednesday, October 28, 2020, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Green Hills Funeral Home. Mrs. Rainey will lie-in-state at the church one hour prior to the service Thursday.
Mrs. Rainey radiated Florida sunshine and all the exciting colors that come to mind when someone thinks of the happy peninsula state. Mr. Rainey spotted her at a youth church meeting in Crestview, Florida, just kids in high school, but he was drawn to the warmth of her spirit and knew she would be the brilliant light of his life. They married, and started a happy family, and relocated to Troy in July of 1974. Troy was home and its community has been a brighter place since they arrived. You’ve probably known her too, as a friendly face or voice in the Charles Henderson Child Health Center offices, as a resource with the Pike County School System in the vocational department or as a substitute teacher, or perhaps as an inspiration for health and fitness if you passed her by on her daily three mile trek. She was an all-star mom, cheering on her children’s extracurricular endeavors, chaperoning scout adventures, sewing the most stylish trends, and making sure the cookie jar was always full of fresh oatmeal cookies. She was a skilled gardener, cultivating her flower beds and paying special interest to her Iris collection. Her Iris bounty prospered, and as she shared them with family near and far, a little piece of her beauty has been left to bloom in gardens across the country. If she didn’t share her flowers with you, it’s likely you were lucky enough to indulge one of her renowned sour cream pound cakes. She loved adventure and travel. Some of her most memorable destinations were to explore Egypt and the lure of its culture, the wonderment of the Oregon Coast and Yellowstone National Park, and nostalgia of Israel. Mrs. Rainey collected giraffes, all kinds from all over, and just like the spots of a giraffe, she was a wonderful, one-of-a-kind.
Mrs. Rainey is survived by her husband of 60 years, Jack G. Rainey; children, Debra Lee Rainey of Jackson, TN, Todd Guy Rainey (Beverly) of Decatur, AL, and Scott Arlington Rainey (Elaine) of Mechanicsburg, PA; grandchildren, Elizabeth Dunne (Tom), Emily Rainey, Amanda Rainey, Tucker Rainey (Carly), Braxton Rainey (Amy), Hannah Rainey, Bethany Rainey, Jackson Rainey, Jessica Rainey, and Julette Rainey; great-grandson, Elijah Elsner; sisters, Eva Lee Fountain of Crestview, FL, and Grace Manon Harris of Kansas City, MO; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, William Brunson and Grace Day Atkinson; and brother, William Brunson Atkinson, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made in her honor to FUMC-Troy Building Fund (213 N 3 Notch Street Troy, AL 36081), Wounded Warrior Project (PO Box 758516, Topeka KS 66675-8516), or ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105). Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Rainey family.