OBITUARY

Elizabeth A. "Bettye" Gray

April 26, 1929December 29, 2020
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Elizabeth Aileen Gray (nee Templeman) of the Charlestown Community, Inc. in Catonsville was called to heaven on December 29, 2020, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Bettye was the beloved wife to Roland H. Gray, Jr. for 69 years, mother of eight children, grandmother to 20 children and 4 great-grandchildren. She was 91.

Bettye was born in Chicago, IL, to William James and Elizabeth Skirpan Templeman. She attended Queen of All Saints Catholic Grammar School in Sauganash, St. Scholastica’s Girls’ School, and Northwestern University, majoring in speech. She was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. During her youth and college years, Bettye was an accomplished dancer, singer, and thespian, earning many awards and making appearances on radio, television, and stage. In addition to her sorority activities, she was involved with Catholic Newman Club, university publications, dance committees, and homecoming committees, earning her the title of “Busiest Girl on Campus.”

Bettye met Roland during her senior year of college, and they were married the October after graduation and relocated to Midland, Michigan. The following year, the first of their eight children arrived. With Roland’s career changes, Bettye helped move the family from Midland, Michigan to Boston, Massachusetts to Owensboro, Kentucky, and finally, to Catonsville, Maryland, where they have lived since 1964. In 2010, Bettye and Roland moved to Charlestown where she enjoyed making new friends and playing bridge.

Along with the full-time job of raising her children, Bettye was an active member of the Catonsville community, a 50-year-member of the Bent Twig Garden Club (president twice), and president of the Westerlee Community Association. Bettye participated in many area arts and garden shows, winning several awards, served as a volunteer at St. Mark Elementary School, and also recorded audio materials for people with hearing disabilities. She also taught dried flower arranging classes at was what was then called Catonsville Community College. Bettye and Roland also enjoyed square dancing for over 20 years with the Spinning Wheels Square Dance Club, and together organized the 29th Star Spangled Square Dance Festival in Hunt Valley for over 1,300 dancers in 1992.

When the last of her children went off to college, Bettye became a realtor for O’Connor, Piper and Flynn, and then later Long and Foster. She was part of the Million Dollar Group numerous years, and enjoyed a successful career well into her 70’s.

Although Bettye was dedicated to her work, she especially loved time with her family, cooking many pans of lasagna, eating lobsters, and having a good laugh. She was happiest when children and grandchildren came home for a visit.

Never one to swear, Bettye could very occasionally be heard uttering “Oh, hell’s bells” or “H. E. double toothpicks!” One of her favorite sayings to get her children moving was “go quick as a winkle bush,” though they never did figure out what a “winkle bush” was.

Bettye is survived by her husband Roland H. Gray and their children: Richard R. Gray (Renee Rutkowski), Robert W. Gray, Kathleen E. Gray Farthing (George Farthing), Thomas E. Gray (Carmen), Patricia A. Gray Di Rito (Paul), Carolyn M. Gray-Wright (Gordon), Susanne M. Gray Behringer (Mike Thompson), and Theresa L. Gray Handerhan (Leo).

Also by their grandchildren: Sarah Low, Krista Gray, Alex Gray, Evan Farthing (Sarah), Haley Farthing (Joe Shapiro), Chelsea Farthing (Neil Mangalindan), Sarah Gray (Eddie McDonough), Elena Gray Stout (Brad), Michael Gray), Brian Di Rito, Lindsay Di Rito Castle (Matt), Patrick Di Rito, Meghan Di Rito Wegendt (Dan), John Di Rito (Alina), Bradley Wright (Natalie), Daniel Wright, David Behringer (Ana Costa), Allison Behringer, Sean Handerhan (Rowan Walker), and Peter Handerhan.

And great-grandchildren: Sloan McDonough, Alexei Shapiro, Wren Mangalindan, and Emma Castle

Bettye is also survived by her sister Barbara Avis of Grayslake, IL.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked donations be made to Charlestown Benevolent Care, 719 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville MD 21228.

A Celebration of Life Service will be planned for the Summer of 2021.

Services

  • A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the Summer of 2021

Memories

Elizabeth A. "Bettye" Gray

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Susan Krabbe

January 4, 2021

Carolyn,

I am very sorry for your loss of your mother. Praying God comforts you during this difficult time.

In sympathy,
Susan Krabbe

Beth Patterson

January 3, 2021

Hello,

I never had the privilege of spending time with Bettye. We however have come to know her though her daughter Sue. She was clearly a wonderful person and helped to raise an extraordinary family. I enjoyed looking through the pictures and hope that your memories bring you some comfort. We offer you our deepest condolences.
Beth and Mike Patterson

Myah Quair

January 1, 2021

I remember when I heard you were over Gigi’s house I would always come in and walk right up to you and just talk. I would always help you out with anything you needed, when I found out that god called his angel up to him I was heart broken. But I know your in a better place now. Fly high Great grandma grey❤️🕊🥺 I was always love you.❤️

Anne&Sy Goldstein

December 31, 2020

So sorry for your loss.To Roland &all members of the family (and we know of all of them)we extend our deepest sympathy.
Fondly,Anne&Sy Goldstein

FROM THE FAMILY

Bettye as a toddler

FROM THE FAMILY

Parade contest

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Bettye in costume

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Modeling, age 14

FROM THE FAMILY

Bettye as a toddler

FROM THE FAMILY

Parade contest

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Bettye in costume

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Modeling, age 14

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Modeling

FROM THE FAMILY

Performing on the radio in the Sachs Radio Hour

FROM THE FAMILY

High School