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Velma Marie Gray, 86

Velma Marie Gray, daughter of the late Garnett and Zella (Goodman) Hopper, was born on Feb. 2, 1926 in Denlow, Mo., and went home to be with the Lord on July 15, 2012 at her residence south of Norwood, following a short illness.  She was 86 years, 5 months and 13 days of age.

Velma grew up in Douglas County and attended the Denlow School in her early years.  She later attended her freshman year at Mtn. Grove and finished high school at Brushy Knob.

She was united in marriage to Roy Ervin Gray on Feb. 27, 1943 at Cold Springs, Mo., in Douglas County. Velma was a young wife at home with two babies, 14 months apart in age, while Roy served in the United States Army during World War II in the Philippines.   Eight children were born to this union. Mr. Gray passed away on Dec. 21, 2006.

Velma was saved in the fall of 1943 following her marriage to Roy, at a revival held at Cold Springs Church with Clarence Ussery as the minister.  He later baptized her in the Clever Creek at Cold Springs. She was a longtime member of the Cold Springs Free Will Baptist Church and enjoyed attending services until her health started failing.  Music was always a part of Velma’s life as she used the voice God blessed her with, singing in her church and in her home.  Listening to others sing and play instruments, brightened her life as well.

She was a correspondent for both the Douglas County Herald and the Mtn. Grove News Journal for several years, contributing the Cold Springs news each week.

Besides her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter and son-in-law: Janice and Billy Hill; four brothers: Wilbur Hopper, Jerry Hopper, Darrell Hopper, and Marlin Hopper; two sisters: Bonnie Poindexter, Doris Sisco, and an infant sister, Carol Sue; a great-grandson: Bradley Hill; and by a great-granddaughter: Cherish Hill.

Velma is survived by four sons: Roy Dean Gray, David Wayne Gray and his wife, Barb, John Kevin Gray and his wife, Debra, and Timothy Brian Gray and his wife, Sheila, all of Norwood; three daughters: Carolyn Stofer and her husband, Leo, Donna Gilley and her husband, Delbert, all of Mtn. Grove, and Sherry McIntosh and her husband, Paul, of Norwood; one brother: Wayne Hopper and his wife, Ruby, of Norwood; three sisters: Inez Stevens of Springfield, Linda Coonts of Ava, and Brenda Todd and her husband, Ronnie, of Manes; 22 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; 20 great-great-grandchildren; several nieces; nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

Online Condolences: www. craighurttfuneralhome.com

Funeral services for Velma Gray were held on Wednesday, July 18 at 2 p.m. in the First Christian Church with Rev. Brandon McIntosh and Rev. Craig Blankenship officiating. Burial was in the Denlow Cemetery under the direction of the Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.

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