Raelene Ann (Rauch) Henderson born in Kansas City, MO to Ray W. Rauch and Lydia G. Corn on December 30, 1963. She lived and grew up in Grandview Missouri and Tulsa Oklahoma both. Her family included a younger brother Ray Rauch Jr. and a sister Linda Sue (Rauch) Smith. Also, an older sister Mary Kay Thomas who was living in Waynesburg, PA.
Raelene graduated Tulsa Will Rogers High School in 1981. Her first career choice was to work in the convenience store business at Git-N-Go stores in Tulsa, OK. She quickly demonstrated her management skills rising to the title of first assistant manager in a primary training store for the company. That is where she met her husband Ed. She often commented to those that knew her best that; her first thoughts were upon meeting him the first time she hopped he wasn’t married. That attitude is why she was successful in all things that The LORD led to do. She saw what she wanted and did all she could to make it happen.
Raelene and Ed were married in Miami, OK on March 4, 1983. One thing that came with the marriage was a five-year-old son that Ed had from a previous marriage. Raelene embraced that son (Tylor) as if she had given birth to him herself. Also, now because of the policy at GitN-Go that married couples could not work for the company Ed left and began went back to work for a previous employer as a warehouse/salesperson. This event would eventually lead them to relocate to Oklahoma City where they would live for the next 34 years. The next event would be that Tylor Ed’s son would come to live with them permanently. Soon after he came Raelene gave birth to a daughter Jessica in June of 1987. This event would necessitate another major change in that the mobile home would not be big enough for a family of four. The family bought a new home in the Twin Oaks addition of Oklahoma City in October of 1988. The other big change in Raelene’s life was the company she was working for in Edmond, OK, a company known as Kwik Shop, promoted her to director of training for all the stores in the Oklahoma City area. This would take up most of her time as she fulfilled the role of working mother and raising a family at the same time. In 1989 Raelene gave birth to a son Sean and the family was complete.
It was at this time that The LORD began to stir both Raelene and Ed’s hearts that to raise the children properly they needed a church home where the kids could grow up. They were led by The LORD to become members of Liberty Church. This is where God began to plant the seeds that would lead to Raelene’s best place of service for her. Ed enrolled in a Bible School at Liberty Church and started down the road to becoming a pastor. Ed and Raelene became leaders at the church and God continued to put them in the work of children’s ministry. This is where the majority of their lives together would be spent starting in 1994 through 2015. Raelene and Ed met another person with a heart to help children know the truth of the Bible about Jesus Christ and how to receive salvation. Anita Parker became a close friend of Raelene’s almost like having another sister.
Beginning in 1994 Oklahoma City Metro Ministries became a reality. Raelene would spend the next 21 years overseeing the program of Sidewalk Sunday school an outreach ministry to children and their families of the inner-city of Oklahoma City. The ministry grew to include four locations with teams of ministers going to each location weekly during the spring and fall of each year. During the summer months’ time was spent in all day outreach events. The greatest joy for her was every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas she put together enough food for each of the families of Sidewalk Sunday school. This food would be there for Thanksgiving dinner and beyond. For Christmas she made sure that every boy and girl that participated in the programs got a new toy, a sack with personal hygiene items, and coats, hats and gloves for wintertime.
Beginning in 1996 the ministry provided 3-day overnight camps with the cooperation of Church of the Harvest located on the Youth America facility in Oklahoma City. The goal was to have this event annually. Raelene and Ed though had a vision to put in a camp facility of their own and Raelene spent some time during the offseason looking for locations to put this campground together. They found a location in Northeastern Oklahoma in the Jay Oklahoma area. The place that they would purchase to use for the campgrounds was located overlooking Lake Eucha. This place would also serve as where eventually they would retire when time came for that to take place. The campgrounds were the perfect location to bring some of the youngsters where they could go fishing, or exploring caves, or enjoy the peace and quiet not seen where most of them lived. The most important part for Raelene was that she could let the campers know just how much Jesus loved them and encouraging them to become lifelong followers and believers.
In 2015 Raelene suffered a massive stroke that left her paralyzed on her left side and very limited mobility. For the first time in her life she was completely dependent on someone else for daily activities. Although, she never gave up the idea that she needed to continue seeing the children and families she ministered to every week. Raelene knew that her time weekly with them had come to an end. However, she still insisted on having the families that she and the ministry had connected with the ability to come up to the campgrounds and enjoy the facilities weekends at a time. She was able to do this right up to the end of the summer of 2019. Her health began to deteriorate in the spring of 2020 as the fight against pain and dissociation began to set in. She went to her Heavenly home on most appropriately a Sunday Morning July 12, 2020. She will be greatly missed by many family and friends and especially all the children and their families The LORD gave her to serve.
Raelene was preceded in death by her father Ray, mother Lydia, son Sean.
She is survived by Ed husband, Jessica daughter in the home, son Tylor Henderson and wife Kaycee of Allen, Texas, brother Ray Rauch Belton MO, sisters Mary Kay Thomas Waynesburg, PA; Linda Sue and husband Leonard Smith Pleasant Hill, MO; Grandchildren McKenzie Henderson, Zachary Henderson, and Sydney Henderson of Allen, Texas. Raelene is also survived by many nieces and nephews along with all the children of Sidewalk Sunday School in the Oklahoma City, OK area.