RAY, ROMMAE “CHARLETT”

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RAY, ROMMAE “CHARLETT”

Private funeral services have been held for Rommae “Charlett” Ray, 54. She passed away April 22. Artistically known as “Sweet Pride – Rommae “Charlett” Ray, she was born in Jersey. Charlett’s parents were Mrs. Ethel Kidd and Mr. Romeo Ray. Mrs. Kidd was a successful businesswomen and Mr. Ray served in the military and worked for the Federal Government. They predeceased Charlett in her youth. Thereafter, she was raised by her grandmother “Willie Mae Smith” who influenced Charlett for the rest of her life. Willie Mae Smith knew fashion and was determined to shower her granddaughter with the latest trends. And this fashion influence was ever present in Charlett’s constant stylish wardrobe. Charlett attended Lincoln High School where she was a student under Franklin Walker, now Superintendent of Jersey City and a life-long friend. At Lincoln High School, Charlett was not only voted “Best Dressed” but she was a star entertainer, singing the hits of the day influenced by such Jersey City favorite sons as Kool & The Gang. Charlett also attended Rowan University where she majored in Communications and Sociology. Always the “Social Butterfly”, when she attended the school’s 50th Anniversary with Glassboro in 2017, she was instantly remembered by all for her charming self. Armed with a solid academic foundation, Charlett delved into early learning education by teaching in Hudson County and New York City concentrating on English studies and Special Education. Pronunciation, enunciation and articulation were angelic lyrics according to school colleagues, students and parents. In the classroom, Charlett was the consummate teacher focusing on bringing out the best in her students. More so, it was wondered and remarked that Chartlett’s penmanship was flawless and a work of “Art.” Musically, Charlett was a fixtured on the vibrant scene in Manhattan Clubs, Jersey City and the “Atlantic City-Philadelphia shuttle” singing R&B hits, Soul, Funk, Disco and Jazz classics under her stage name “Sweet Pride.” In between, Sweet Pride caused to be a popular figure in Las Vegas and New Orleans, as well. Charlett was also a “Foodie” easily mingling with show-hosts in Manhattan’s “Chelsea Market” gently ribbing them for always going to the “Mascarpone” as a default ingredient. Charlett also immersed herself in the kitchen sharing her latest recipes using tips by her “Michelin” Chef compatriots, with all in the weekly tsunami of photos of her latest creations. Unquestionably, Charlett will be missed by all for her free spirit such as cruising after school in her Chrysler Convertible about town. Charlett is survived by her spouse Frank Guzmán and his sons Daniel and Ryan, nephew Anthony Guzmán; and father-in-law Silverio Guzmán. Also by her uncles Charles Kidd, George Smith and Steven Smith. Cousins Robert, Larry and Eric, Shlinda and Danette, Issac and Anthony. Forever present, Charlett will always be remembered by her best friends Michele Hall and Ron Duncan and their son Ruben – to which she revered as her family. Services arranged by the Watson Mortuary Service, Jersey City.

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