KILMARNOCK—Minerva “RayLee” Dize Mitchell Keyser died Sunday, May 16, 2021, peacefully at her home in Kilmarnock with family at her bedside. She was the loving wife of William “W.R.” Keyser Jr.
RayLee was born November 1, 1931, to the late Hency C. and Emma Jesse Shehigh Mitchell in Ditchley. She attended Wicomico High School, Catonsville Community College and the University of Arizona.
She was preceded in death by sisters, Elizabeth, Louise and Betty Lou; brothers, Henry Jr. “Buddy” and Joseph. She was also preceded in death by Dr. G. Kenneth Reiblich, Charles Voss and George Elbourn.
She is survived by her sister, Ann Wills of Poway, Calif.; children, George W. Reiblich of Tucson, Ariz., David M. Reiblich (Debbie) of Kilmarnock and Carroll W. Reiblich (Jo-An) of Lancaster. She is also survived by step-children Paul Keyser of Utah, John Keyser of Florida, Denis, Leonard, Mark and James Keyser of Kilmarnock, Helen and Jane of Richmond, and their spouses; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins; as well as other family members and lifelong friends.
RayLee, a nickname given to her by her brother Buddy, was known as “Top Shelf” by friends and neighbors.
While living in Tucson, she was past president of P.E.O. Chapter E. A Philanthropic and Educational Organization, member of the University Faculty Women’s Club, and past regent and chaplain of DAR of Tucson. She continued to be active with DAR on her return to Virginia. She was past matron and secretary of Sunshine Chapter #38 Order of Eastern Star of Arizona.
She taught Sunday school at the First Methodist Church in Tucson and was active at Bluff Point United Methodist Church. She wanted to give back to the church she grew up in.
She wrote several books about the Northern Neck and, while in Arizona, returned to Kilmarnock for a book signing for her Remembering memories of growing up in the Northern Neck and about growing up in Ditchley. She wrote Down Memory Lane when she was almost 80 and the life history of W. R. Keyser.
After her return to Kilmarnock, she was active at Bluff Point Methodist Church, past president of Bluff Point Methodist Women and a past Notary for the Commonwealth.
She was a member of St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church in Kilmarnock.
A private Mass will be held at the church at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Hospice of Virginia, 1328 Tappahannock Boulevard, Tappahannock, VA 22560.
“Silently the angels took mother into the mansion above, there shall she rest from earth’s toiling, safe in the arms of God’s love.”
Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.