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Obituary – Wanda M. Gray

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Wanda M. Gray, 90, passed away to be with her Lord and Savior, on Sunday, October 24, 2021, in Waldron. She dedicated her life to her Lord and her family.

In her early years, she was a legal assistant, taught English in Japan to Japanese telephone operators, taught Sunday school, seamstress, and retired from Tinker Air Force Base Procurement and Management Division. She graduated the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree in Psychology, History and Science, Continuing Education with a major in History and Master’s Degree in History. She was a licensed owner/operator of Regal Realty and Dana’s Diner, was a licensed public school teacher, grant writer, fund raiser and contributing force in the building of the Scott County Library and Founder of Scott County Historical Society, family Genealogist, Mayor of Waldron, Scott County Historian, and Arkansas State History Commissioner. Her passions were studying the Lord’s word, world travel to South America, Europe and Japan, historical restorations of homes of Farnsworth House and former railroad agent and Mayor Thomas Jefferson Gray, and former home of State Representative Worth S. Rice, bird watching, hiking, art, gospel and classical music, piano, archeology, writer, guest lecturer, and author.

Wanda loved her county history and had a love and dedication to her hometown of Scott County. She loved helping and guiding people all across the United States in connecting them with their loved ones and their family history. She was a notable author of Scott County Cemeteries, Images of America Scott County, Arkansas, republished A History of Early Days of Scott County Arkansas by P. M. Claunts: The Scott County Library Heritage Collection, Will Records, Selected Historical and Genealogical Records of Scott, Arkansas, 1930 Diary of Edna L. Duncan Center, Civil War in Scott County, Arkansas, Graveyard Pleasant Grove #3 Annotated, Contributing Author of History of Crawford County, Arkansas, contributing author Encyclopedia of Arkansas, archival project of digitalization of over 38,000 photos, and Channel 13 Documentary Keetowah Indians. in addition she has written over 200 newspaper articles.

A native of Scott County, Arkansas, Wanda M. Gray is a descendant of two pioneer families, Gertrude Rhyne and Harvey Lester Newberry, and grand-daughter of Eli Hoyle Rhyne Jr. and Minnie Eugenie Center, and Benjamin Franklin Newberry and Martha Catherine Hutchison. Her early years were spent on a farm three miles east of Waldron. She is rejoicing with her mother Gertrude Newbery, father Lester Newberry, spouse J. W. “Red” Gray Jr., sisters: Fern Oliver, Verla Dean Woodard, Shirley Jo Ammons, Edna Lee Maxell, great -grandson Jase Keaton Daggs, and granddaughter Sheresa Lynn Benton Cash. She leaves behind to cherish her memory sons Michael Dee Gray and Dennis Jea Gray and their families, and daughters, Arleen Estes White, Darleen Benton and husband George, and Dana Marie Anderson and families. She has an abundance of grandchildren and great grandchildren. She will cherished and missed by MaryAnn Sanders, Alice Nelson, Imajean Hunt, Lynda Sue Bates, and Ben Newberry.

Visitation will be Thursday October 28, 2021 at Martin Funeral Home Chapel from 5:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. There will be a private burial at a later date, cremation will be under the direction of Martin Funeral Home in Waldron. Online condolences may be sent at http://www.martinfuneralhomes.com

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