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Mary Gray Lee


Last updated 1/3/2008 at Noon

Mary Gray Lee, 96, passed away peacefully in her residence at Silvergate in Fallbrook, CA, on December 4, 2007.

Mary was born March 12, 1911, to Eula and Joe Hurley in Warren, AR. She was a graduate of Christian College in Columbia, MO.

Mary met her first husband, Paul G. Gray Jr. of Estherville, IA, while attending college. They were married in June 1937 and made their home in Estherville, where Mr. Gray was in business with his father at P.G. Gray Produce Company.

The couple had three children, Mary Alice, Betsy and Paul.

Mary’s Christian faith was the foundation of her life. She was a member and served as a trustee and elder of First Presbyterian Church in Estherville. She also regularly attended Fallbrook Presbyterian Church and was active in circle and dining out group.

Mary was a homemaker all her life and a remarkable mother. For years she served as a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader and was active in PTA. She loved summers spent with family and relatives on Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa. She enjoyed her PEO chapters in Estherville and Fallbrook, as well as her bridge and supper clubs.

Following Paul’s death in December 1957, Mary was involved in the operation of her husband’s business for a period and served on the board of the Iowa Trust and Savings Bank.

In July 1973, she married a longtime family friend, Robert N. Lee. After Robert’s retirement as editor of the Estherville Daily News, they began spending their winters in Fallbrook. Robert passed away in December 1987.

Mary lived a full life. She faced many challenges in her lifetime and met each one with a calm determination. She will be remembered for her gracious hospitality, her kindness to others and her love for her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, five brothers and one sister. She is survived by her children, Mary Alice and Tom Dunscombe, Houston, TX, Betsy and Dr. David Bucher, Fallbrook, and Paul and Patti Gray, Piedmont, CA; stepsons Joe and Rosemary Lee, Huntsville, AL, Jim and Sandy Lee, Dover, DE, and Nelson and Lia Lee, Larkspur, CA; 11 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; six nieces; and five nephews.

A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church in Warren on December 8, 2007, led by Mary’s great nephew, Rev. Dr. Edwin Hurley, Birmingham, AL. Burial was in Oakland Cemetery in Warren.

There will be a memorial service celebrating the life of Mary Gray Lee in Fallbrook on Friday, January 11, at 10 a.m. at Fallbrook Presbyterian Church led by Pastor Jerome Marroquin. A reception for family and friends will follow at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Mary’s name to Fallbrook Presbyterian Church.


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