Aug. 29, 1932-Dec. 14, 2019
Frances Wells Gray, devoted wife, beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away in Houston, Texas, Dec. 14, 2019.
Married for 63 years to Ruffin Gray, she is survived by her children, Deborah, Michael, Gary, Jon, Christopher and their spouses. She was blessed to be a grandmother to eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Born Aug. 29, 1932, in Pleasant Hill to Oscar and Viola Wells, she was the youngest sibling of Ray, Alton and Grace.
She graduated from Pleasant Hill High School in 1950 where she had been Champion Cheerleader of Sabine Parish, and went to state finals in volleyball. In Shreveport she attended Elliott’s Secretarial School and worked in Civil Service as a secretary at Barksdale AFB. She was crowned as beautiful Miss Barksdale in 1952. In 1953 she married “Ruff” Gray, a Major at Shaw AFB and embraced her role as his wife and mother to their children. She said her number one priority was to be a good mother. Once her children were in school, she studied interior design at the “NY School of Interior Design.”
She opened her first location of “Interiors by Fran” in Natchitoches; relocated her business to Shreveport and continued her love of decorating in Holiday Island, Ark., and Diamondhead, Miss. Always a lover of music, she played piano, ukulele and in high school, the clarinet. She sang in many church choirs, loved art, floral arranging, dancing and playing bridge. Most notably, she and Ruff were among the founding members of Holiday Island Community Church. Fran’s 47 year friendship with Mrs. Reta Every, was one of her greatest joys. She was a member of the PEO Sisterhood in Natchitoches and transferred her membership when she moved to Diamondhead. Though she loved all of these activities, her favorite pastime was spending time with her family. We will miss her dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Natchitoches Humane Society, PO Box 7405, Natchitoches, LA 71457, would be appreciated.
Her service will be at Bethel Congregational Church, 1511 Union Grove Road, Pleasant Hill Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Zion’s Rest Cemetery with a reception to follow.