PENDLETON - Virginia Lucille (Howard) Gray, 93, of Pendleton died Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008, at her home. A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 29 in the Burns Mortuary Chapel in Pendleton, followed by interment at Skyview Memorial Park in Pendleton.
Mrs. Gray was born April 24, 1915, outside of Bloomington, Ind., to William Elmer and Mabel Birdie (Hardy) Howard, the oldest of nine children. She grew up in the Joplin, Mo., area until the early '30s when her family moved to the Northwest. They lived in Twin Falls, Idaho, Yakima, and Caldwell, Idaho, before settling in Pendleton. While in Yakima she married Jack Hickman and had a daughter; they later divorced.
Once in Pendleton she joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church and worked at the Harris Pine Mill for several years, where she met Robert F. Gray. They married in 1947. The couple had two children and spent most of their years living in Gibbon, just outside of Pendleton.
She spent many years working at Eastern Oregon State Hospital and then in home health care, sometimes working as a live-in aide. She moved back to Pendleton after Robert's death in 1990.
She was active in her church and had many friends at Oregon Trail Manor, where she lived for the past seven years. She spent the last few months at her daughter's home.
Mrs. Gray is survived by daughters Barbara Immroth of Montezuma, Kan., and Carol Johnson of Pendleton; son Robert W. Gray of Pilot Rock; sister Joy McKenzie of Athena; brother Samuel Howard of Havana, Fla.; 11 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.
Memorial contributions may be made to Harris Junior Academy, or to the American Cancer Society, in care of Burns Mortuary of Pendleton, P.O. Box 489, Pendleton, OR 97801.
Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.