Alma Gray
Alma Gray

Obituary of Alma Gray

Alma R. Gray, age 93, of Garnett, Kansas, passed away on Saturday, July 31, 2010, at the Golden Heights Living Center in Garnett, Kansas.

Alma Ruth Griffith was born on June 5, 1917, at Osceola, Missouri, the daughter of Sherman H. and May (Schoonover) Griffith. She was given the middle name of Ruth after Dr. Ruth Seavers who attended her birth. Her birth, which came the day her father was to register for the draft for World War I, exempted him from the draft. Her uncle Horace Griffith did serve in Europe during the war and carried Baby Alma's picture in his hat. Alma attended schools at George School, Osceola and graduated from Calhoun High School. She had memories of traveling from Colorado to Missouri in a covered wagon when she was about 4 years old.

She was united in marriage to Ralph W. Gray at the family home in Calhoun, Missouri on April 13, 1938. They were married for 42 years before he preceded her in death in 1980. Alma and Ralph were from the "Great Generation", enduring the Depression and World War II. She traveled following Ralph to all the West Coast Ports where the Naval aircraft carrier he served on might be docked.

Alma and Ralph moved to Garnett in 1947. Alma helped her husband in his filling station business and later was known throughout Garnett as the "Avon" Lady. She served her community through being a Community 4-H leader with the Star Shooting Club for over 20 years and as a cooking leader helping many girls learn to bake in her kitchen. She also served her community as a member and board member of the Anderson County Association for Retarded Citizens. Alma was active in the First Baptist Church and the Women's Missionary Circle. She loved to organize social outreach projects and she and Ralph enjoyed hosting youth from Bethel Neighborhood Center in Kansas City and youth from Bacone Indian College in Oklahoma.

She was preceded in death by her parents;

Alma is survived by two daughters, Sharon Willans and husband Art of Reno, Nevada; Ellen Kellerman and husband Dennis of Chanute, Kansas; three grandsons, Jess Willans and wife Jena of Reno, Nevada; Dustin Kellerman of Chanute, Kansas; and Daniel Kellerman stationed with the U.S. Seabees in Japan; one granddaughter, Jana Cronin and husband Jesse of Goose Creek, South Carolina; two great grandchildren; Grace and Matthias Willans of Reno, Nevada; and a host of relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 9, 2010, at the First Baptist Church in Garnett, Kansas. Family will greet friends from 9:00 to 10:00 AM prior to the service at the church. Graveside services will be held at 3:00 p.m. at the Calhoun Cemetery in Calhoun, Missouri. After burial, family and friends are invited for a gathering and light meal at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church - one of the rural Baptist Churches that was founded by Rev. William Gray, grandfather of Ralph Gray and where both Griffith and Gray ancestors are buried.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are encouraged to be made to the Anderson County Association of Retarded Citizens and left in care of the funeral home or to Mt. Olivet Cemetery Fund, in care of William Uhlenbock, Treasurer, 253 NE Hwy Y, Calhoun, MO 65323. You may send your condolences to the family at our website at