Vera Ruth Laney Gray, 80, finished her earthly life on Thursday, March 10, 2022, surrounded by her family at her home. She was born on March 5, 1942, in Nettleton to the late Crafton and Vera Patterson Laney. She grew up in Hatley and attended Hatley School. Vera married David Gray and together they began a life in the military that would take them across the world, starting from Champagne, IL and on to North Carolina, Louisiana, Utah and New Mexico. She also enjoyed a tour in England. Growing up in a large family, Vera knew the value of a strong work ethic, which she exemplified daily. She took great pride in raising their children and being the backbone of the family on David’s many deployments with the United States Airforce. Upon retirement, they settled back in at the family farm. It wasn’t long until they decided to open a tree farm. From there Gray’s Christmas Tree Farm came into existence as an iconic, yearly family tradition, with lasting memories for all who would come from near and far. It was almost magical as Vera’s generous and humble spirit touched each tree and wreath that was grown on the property. The Christmas Tree farm helped to fund one of her most passionate causes in life, the Shawna Gray Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund helped many students in Monroe County achieve a college education and it is asked that donations in lieu of flowers be given to the scholarship fund, care of Christian Chapel Church of Christ.
Vera also had a green thumb and loved working in her garden. Each year she and David would say that they were going to cut back on the garden although that never happened. Vera’s garden would eventually be placed on the table of many homes throughout Monroe County. She was a longtime and devoted member of Christian Chapel Church of Christ and participated in the Lady Bug Sewing Club. Vera was many things to many people, a wife, loving mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She will be remembered for her devotion, kindness and gentle spirit that embraced and loved those that she knew.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, David Gray; sons, Kimball Gray (Michelle) Silver Spring, Maryland, and Todd Gray (Beth) Cle Elum, Washington; grandchildren, Shawn Gray (Robin Martinez) Seattle Washington and Nicole Gray, Seattle Washington; sisters, Helen Howell, Becker, Barbara House (Doyle), Hamilton and Paulette Cates (Hammond Skeen), Amory; brothers in laws, Randle Gray (Joyce), Hatley and Larry Gray (Judy), Hatley; and a host of nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her daughter, Shawna Ruth Gray; sisters, Beatrice (Bea) Vaughn and Bonnie Childers; brothers, Luke Laney, Alfred Laney and Carl (Cotton) Laney.
Funeral services will be held at 2 PM on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at Cleveland Moffett Funeral Home with Ministers Bobby Cleveland, Chuck Moffett and Derrick Maranto officiating. Pallbearers will be Sam Carpenter, Vaughn Howell, Alan Pearson, Jason Heady, Lowell Worthey, Steve Young and Bobby Cleveland. The family would also like to give a special recognition to all those who helped during Vera’s time of sickness, especially the Ladybug’s Sewing Club, Tommy and Clara Smith, Sam and Becky Carpenter, Leisa Howell, Brenda Pearson and Legacy Hospice.
Visitation will be at the funeral home on Saturday, March 12 from 5 pm until 8 pm.
Condolences may be shared at clevelandmoffettfuneralhome.com.