December 8, 1926 – April 25, 2020 – (age 93)
Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Alice “Jane” Brown Gray, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2020 in Logan Utah, at the age of 93.
Jane was born December 8, 1926 in Akron, Ohio. She was the 2nd child and oldest daughter of Donald Henry Brown and Harriet Susan DeWalt. Her siblings were: Walter Thomas Brown, Harriet Kemp Morgan; Grace Anna Owen, Susan Dell Minich. As a small child, Jane grew up playing under the leaves of apple trees planted by Johnny Appleseed. In 1933-1934, during the great depression, Jane traveled with her family to Lake Worth, a small town in South Florida. Here her family survived on fish, “skunk cabbage” coleslaw, local oranges, chickens, goat milk and her mothers “Pennsylvania Dutch” can-do attitude. There were, sakes in the dresser drawers; alligators in the lakes, ponds, and canals; mosquitoes buzzing in and out of the screenless windows, and a “Florida Panther” (cougar) in the front yard. It was a wild tropical jungle where the children took off their shoes, pulled up their skirts and walked through knee-high water to school. They were poor, but incredibly happy. By the age of 10 “Jane” took over the family laundry and cooking, while her mother worked as a nurse assisting a local doctor.
By 1940, German U-Boats patrolled the east Florida coast and Jane’s mother moved the family back to Ohio. The day before her 14th birthday, the USA was bombed at Pearl Harbor. A child of the depression Jane’s life was now affected by WWII. By age 15 she worked by day and went to night high school, from which she graduated in 1945. She worked at the A&P grocery store and county nursing home where she learned invaluable nutrition training and nursing skills. By working during the day, she provided a way for her three younger sisters to remain in school and, as well as help her mother collect enough money to buy a 100-acre farm in Byesville, South Eastern Ohio town.
In 1948 Jane returned to Palm Beach County to enroll in a two-year Registered nursing program at Good Samaritan Hospital. After completing the first year she met her “Irish Prince”, Daniel Philip Gray Sr. They married and started their own family in 1950. By 1956 the Gray children included: Shirly Ann, Daniel Philip Jr., Teresa Jean, and Mary Martha. Dan and Jane loved Florida, they frequently drove to the beaches to let the children enjoy the water, sands, and breezes. Always resourceful, Jane made her own soap, washed clothes on a wringer washer and worked hard to make nutritious meals. A favorite memory was when Dan went by the pier, met up with fishing boats at the dock and bought fresh caught ocean fish to bring home for dinner. Mom had the coleslaw and homemade fries ready to go with the fish fry. An avid reader, Jane loved to read to her children at naptime every day. She walked her children to the library, beach and art museum. She worked night shift at a local Tuberculosis hospital where she loved using her nursing skills. During the 1960’s she completed almost 3 years of college, majoring in Elementary Education. In early 1970, Jane returned to school to finish her nursing degree. She spent 20+ years as a geriatric “private duty” nurse in Palm Beach.
Jane loved painting, poetry, drawing, reading, and the beach. Her favorite magazine was National Geographic, she enjoyed PBS “Nature and Nova” programs. She encouraged her children to watch The Apollo flight rockets on the family TV and then to step outside and watch the silver streaks from the rocket(s) over the ocean. She loved biology, science, and English. Jane would have made a great biomedical researcher. She adored musical while encouraging her children in choral and Glee Club programs. She was reserved, but always enjoyed a good laugh.
We will miss her “bumpy, spikey” drop biscuits and sweet “Troll-like” face. She was preceded in death by both parents and all four of her siblings. She is survived by all four of her children: Shirly Gray Foltz, Daniel Philip Gray Jr., Teresa (Terry) Gray Myers, and Mary Martha gray Bailey. 14 grandchildren; Daniel Philip Gray III, Alicia Foltz Jenkins (John), Heather Louise Foltz, Jennifer Foltz Smith (Ben), Keven Bailey Jr (Michelle), Aubrey Bailey, Timothy Foltz (Chelsi), Ashlee Bailey Dalton (Jake), Stephanie Myers Vaughn (Alan), and Amanda (Mandy) Bailey; as well as 25+ great-grandchildren.
We love and miss you, Grandma Butterfly.
Because of the restrictions due to COVID-19, a graveside memorial will be arranged sometime this summer.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Allen Mortuaries