1943 ~ 2022
Date of Death: January 31, 2022
In profound sadness, the staff of Veasley Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc. want to express our sincere condolences to the Rainey family. Charles’ earthly temple is now resting in the care of Rowell-Parish Mortuary. Revelations 21:4 says "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death; nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." Be assured that in the days ahead you will surely gain strength from the memories of Mr. Charles Lee Rainey.
Derrick Veasley ~ Director
Henry Veasley ~ Director
Pastor E.C. Maltbia ~ Chaplain
Charles Lee Rainey passed away on January 31, 2022. He was the 2nd child of 5 born to the late Enora S. and Everett E. Rainey on April 18, 1943 at Twin City Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas. During Charles’ early years, he and the family were members of 13th & Suburban Church where GT Henderson was the pastor. They later became members of 14th & T Church, which is now First COGIC where his brother, Supt Everett L. Rainey is the pastor. His mother kept him and his siblings in church where he was taught the ‘Word” and the Christian life. At age 6, Charles had an out-of-body heavenly experience when he faced death from asthma. But he was blessed to return when he heard his mother say he had to come back so he could go to Okmulgee (OK). He attended Howard Elementary and Lincoln High School in Fort Smith. He was a football and basketball star and one of the ‘baddest’ Lincolnites to play under Coach Curtis Clay and Chester Jordan. He was a born athlete! In 1961, Charles graduated from Lincoln High School. He was contacted to play professional football before he got his knee damaged. Football was his heart! He said God healed his knee and he didn’t need surgery. He later pursued his music passion. He began to sing and play in clubs. He had different gigs in town, traveled, and met many musical artists. Around 1963, he joined the Army but did not make a career of it.
Charles attended American and Westark Community College and was involved in many community programs and community-based action groups for years. He was very articulate and vocal on several occasions when he was called to speak to special groups and events. In 1972, Charles married the love of his life, Gloria Jean Trent. Charles and Gloria had one child, three grandchildren, and two great-grands. They moved into the historical home of Gloria’s great grandfather, E.O. Trent (Builder, Educator, Professor) and grandfather, Alphonso Trent, a well-known jazz musician who broke barriers for Black musicians. He was known to play with musicians such as Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. He and his family became members of Mt Zion CME. In 2010, he joined First COGIC and later rededicated his life fully to the Lord. He realized he was called at an early age but fought like many young folks who feel that they are too young to live for God. He was overjoyed with his commitment.
Charles worked at Job Corps (OK), OK Food Hackery, and in 1978, he started his professional work career with Sebastian County Public Housing (HUD) where he worked as an Asst. Executive Director. He received several awards of recognition for excellence. After 20 years of work, he retired and quickly started enjoying more time with his family, friends, and those things he loved so dearly. Charles became the Founder and President of Fort Smith Economic Development, a local economic development corporation. Charles and Gloria enjoyed a very good marriage and was committed to her until her death in August 2009. He later had hoped to promote his book The Hour Is Near and sell his home as the original Trent Home to the Lincoln Alumni for a museum.
Charles loved watching and discussing the news. He loved playing pool with his ‘homies,’ checkers, table tennis, football, basketball, tennis, and running track. His pool skills were exceptional! He gave his friend ‘Fergie’ a run for the money! He loved his Black Nissan and would “put the petal” every chance he had without getting a ticket. He was passionate about discussing politics! He had plenty to say about Republicans! He knew his bible, and he could charge up the grill to barbeque with some of the best tasting dishes. He found much joy playing dominoes with his dad, but he just didn’t have the skill his dad had to win each time. He loved music, and competitive games. Charles loved to work in his yard, but if you said, “Let’s go fishing, he was ready.” He enjoyed spoiling his family, doing everything he could possibly for them, and giving love unconditionally. He loved his getaway times to Okmulgee and Tulsa, Oklahoma where he spent unforgettable great moments with family. His new love was horse racing. He said he could always tell which horse would win by looking at the horse’s rear-end.
Charles leaves to cherish his memories: his daughter, Andria Lee Rainey of Indianapolis, Indiana; his grandchildren: Jamel Rainey of Atlanta, Georgia, Alexxis Rainey of Conway, Arkansas, Jaelen Linson-Rainey of Fort Smith, Arkansas; two great grandchildren: Breya Rainey and Jaelen Linson-Rainey Jr; his siblings Supt. Everett L. (Cynthia) Rainey of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Charline Rainey-Smith and Barbara J .Verges both of San Diego, California; a very close ‘homie’ friend: Robert (Bob) Ferguson, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a host of friends. We will miss Charles—his infectious smile, generous love, astuteness, calm demeaner, intelligence, keen memory, talks, and family togethers. RIP Charles!
Public walk-through will be Friday, February 11, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Rowell-Parish Mortuary 611 North 9th Street Fort Smith, Arkansas 72901.
Celebration of life service will be held Saturday, February 12, 2022 at 1 p.m. at New Life Church of God in Christ 1808 Greenwood Avenue Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904.
Committal service and final resting place will be at the Oak Cemetery Fort Smith, Arkansas.