OBITUARY - Alice M. Gray
Alice Mae Heaton Gray , 4/24/1925, age 88
Born – Clearwater, MN
Resided – Boise, Idaho
Parents names – Mildred Watts and James P Heaton, Minnesota
Celebration of Life– Saturday, June 28, 1:00 p.m. at Clearwater United Methodist Church, 405 Main St., Clearwater, MN. Light lunch following and later internment at Acacia Cemetery in Clearwater.
Officiating – Nephew, Brian Bergs
School – Technical High School, St. Cloud, MN
Spouse George W Gray, 7/3/1952 at the First Christian Church officiated by Hartzell Cobbs. Divorced in 1969.
Resided mostly in Boise. Lived a short time in Joseph, Oregon after marriage and then returned to Boise. She originally moved to Boise when she was 21 with family friend, Fred and Katherine Koll, who she later cared for as her own family since they had no children.
She fell in love with Boise and was always an ambassador for the area, often convincing people she met that this was a great place to live. She was proud that the first job she had in Boise was as hostess at CC Andersons (later the downtown Bon Marche) where she met many people who became life-time friends and also led to a job at Idaho Power where she worked till she had her first child. After being a stay-at-home mom for 10 years and managing church and home books, she returned to the workforce after divorcing to discover she needed to build a new credit and work history. Much harder than it is today. Thanks to a wonderful opportunity to work as a clerk for the Ada County Treasurer, she got to have a dream job. No property problem was too small for her to want to make sure it was corrected and she was often sought out because she remembered most names in the community and all the subdivisions. She forged a great relationship with her boss and they both traveled considerably together after they retired. She also traveled with family from Minnesota since her brother, Lyle Heaton, drove a Farmer’s Union Tour Bus and she was able to visit almost all 50 states. Her number one place to visit was Minnesota, where she loved seeing her family and friends.
She always wanted to make a difference. She was known from adolescence to take a stand for children or adults who were bullied. She believed people deserved to be liked for who they were. Her home was always open to someone who needed a place till they could get back on their feet. However, she did like to influence what they ate. Her favorite saying before placing a dish on the table that she knew you didn’t care for was “Try it, you will like the way I fix it. She was a great cook and her apple pies and potato salad were always requested.
When she was working at home, her hobbies included a beautiful vegetable and flower garden. The basement was always a craft zone for the yearly church bazaar project where everyone gathered to work. Multitudes of hand-poured grapes wired to driftwood still reappear to this day. Nothing was safe from being turned into a possible fund raiser. Later years she loved to knit, crochet, latch hook and work on puzzles. She loved a rousing game of pinochle or 500. Everything was an excuse to get a bunch of women together for fellowship and giggles. Her birthday bunch were regulars at the Mode. Dancing from early years at the MirMar to the Treasure Valley Singles was a favorite also. The hardest thing was when she had to give up her car and independence because of seizures and it kept her from calling on shut-ins and helping others. Luckily she had many friends who included her in visits and she was able to continue into her 80’s. She loved the city bus and made use of it from the time she moved to Boise till she was no longer able to navigate on her own.
She was a dedicated member of the University Chirstian Church and held about every position available, Christian Women’s Fellowship, the early YWCA, Community Concerts, and the Happy Hoofers. She volunteered at the Idaho Historical Museum for years after retirement.
Daughter Bernie Mueller (Tim) Caldwell
Son James W. Gray (Laurie) Utah
Sisters Marion Bergs, Joyce Pierson (Roger)
Brothers Curtis Heaton (friend Irene) Lyle Heaton (friend Mary) all of MinnesotaGrand daughter Anne Mueller (friend Jon Ross and daughter Avaya Ross). Numerous nieces and nephews that were very important to her.
Special thanks to so many people who looked out for her over the years. She loved living at the Heatherwood Retirement apartments and then the Assisted Living facilities at Amber Lane along with services from Align Hospice. She felt they were her extended family and cared deeply for each one. Alice was known to have a smile for every one who visited and rarely complained even though we knew she had aches and pains.
Memorials can be made to the Acacia Cemetery, 8178 148th St NW, Clearwater, MN 55320