Alton | Friday, April 15 2022 |
Vera Lee (Boyd) Gray (87) was born in Caruthersville, Missouri on March 27, 1935, to the union of Canaday & Lula (Burns) Boyd. On April 15, 2022, Vera passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family.
She was the seventh child born into this union. At an early age, she moved to Alton, Illinois, and attended Alton High School.
On July 12, 1952, she married James Gray and through that union, they were blessed with seven children, five boys, and two girls. Her children were the source of much love and pride. They remained so throughout her life. In 1966, Vera went to work for the Olin Corporation with the only intention of making enough money to buy some new living room furniture. After more than 34 years of service, she retired.
Vera was a true advocate for the education of each of her children. She encouraged each of her children to them to pursue higher education after high school, which each of them accomplished.
After retirement, Vera assisted others by taking them to doctor’s appointments and delivering meals to those who were not able to cook on their own. She had several passions including gardening, cooking, shopping, and spending time with her family and friends. She enjoyed hosting Sunday dinners for her family. She never met a stranger and was a friend to everyone. Another source of her extraordinary pride was when she was awarded “Best Yard in Alton” and the “Living Legend Award” by the Madison County Board.
Vera was a Devout Catholic and a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church until her passing. She served numerous ministries such as cleaning sacristy linens. Vera was a proud member of the Zonta Club of Alton/Wood River, National Council of Negro Women, Alton Beautification, Altar Society of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.
Vera was proceeded in death by her son: Brandan Joseph Gray; parents Canaday and Lula Boyd; brothers: Eugene Boyd (Martha), Canaday Boyd Jr. (Louise), Gene Boyd, Edward Boyd; and sisters: Cora Lee Sharp (Frank), Vesta Lee Boyd, Lucille Boyd, and Mary Boyd.
Left to cherish fond memories are her six children: Anthony “Tony” Gray, Curtis “Curt” Gray, Policia “Lisa” Andrews (Rosman), Stephen Gray, Venita Sciacca, and Kirstan Gray (Kathleen). Grandsons: Omar, Franklin, McKaley, Kaz, and Andrew. Granddaughters: Shonda, LaKisha, Erica, Bianca, Ché, Andrea, Benaim, Surya, Sofia, and Ayumi. She also leaves a host of great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins, and a multitude of other family and friends.
The family thanks everyone who called our mother, dropped off gifts, and showed her great love during her time of illness over the past 2 years. We also express a special thanks to Danetta, Leona, and Traci of BJC Hospice Care, who cared for our mother as if they were caring for their own mothers. Mom really loved you, Ladies!
Harrison Funeral Chapel