Cover photo for Velma Lanay Raines's Obituary
Velma Lanay Raines Profile Photo
1947 Velma 2022

Velma Lanay Raines

November 1, 1947 — December 17, 2022

Velma Lanay Raines, 75, of Bethel, Alaska, passed from this life on Saturday, December 17, 2022. She was born in Newport, Arkansas, on November 1, 1947, to the late Nathaniel and Velma Louise Watson. Lanay graduated from Swifton High School. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Arkansas State University. Lanay married Ed "E.W." Raines and they were married for 27 years. She taught for many years, and she thoroughly enjoyed her work and her family. In 1990, Lanay and Ed retired from teaching and bought a little cafe in downtown Paragould.They ran Ed’s Cafe until Ed passed away in 1997. At that time, Lanay returned to Alaska continuing her service in public education as an administrator/teacher, alongside a part-time career in corrections and behavioral health.

Lanay considered 7th & Mueller Church Of Christ her home church and loved the Lord. She had many hobbies including solving crossword puzzles and hosting roller skating on Friday nights for the school children. She loved watching Christmas movies, Netflix, and the Hallmark Channel. She also loved keeping up with her grandkids, friends, and family on Facebook and playing hymns on her piano.

Lanay was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sisters, Judy O'Neal, Natalie Watson, and Susan Makuch Tatum; brother, Richard Makuch, and son-in-law, Wayne "Butch" Eason Jr.

Lanay is survived by her daughters, Jennifer Eason of Paragould and Carrie (Kenneth) Lambert of Bethel, Alaska; son, Dennis (Francina) Raines of Anchorage, Alaska; brothers, Jeff (Glennda) Watson, Kurt, and Keith Watson, all of Indiana, Stan Makuch Jr. of Jonesboro; sisters, Suzie Watson Williams, of Indiana and Paula (Becky) Watson of Ohio; grandchildren, Savannah Lambert of Alaska, Haley Darr of Georgia, Sydney Eason, Joshua Eason, Whitney Colvin, Amy (Brandon) Gonser, and Lee (Sheena) Eason, all of Paragould; eleven great grandchildren; two aunts, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A visitation will be Friday, January 13, 2023, from 6-8 PM at Heath Funeral Home. The funeral is Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 1:00 PM at Heath Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Epsaba Cemetery. Pallbearers are Joshua Eason, Teako Landford, Brandon Gonser, Brenden Edrington, Jason Stewart, and Randy McPhink.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Velma Lanay Raines, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, January 13, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm

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