Daisy Marie (Shepherd) Gray
June 26, 1932 – March 3, 2023
Daisy Marie Gray died March 3, 2023 in the She was born June 26, 1932 in Arbela, Missouri to Joseph Folk and Anna Marie (Garrett) Shepherd.
Daisy was, as she put it, “raised up” during the Great Depression on a farm in a modest but loving home (without electricity) near Downing, Missouri with her older brother Charles Shepherd and younger sister Mildred (Shepherd) Mullins. She particularly enjoyed the chance to play basketball while she attended Downing High School, despite having to walk two miles into school to play and walk back home at night after.
On March 7, 1949 she married Harold Junior Gray in Lancaster, Missouri. Together they lived in Illinois for a time, where she worked in a pickle cannery while Harold worked for a farmer and a railroad company, before they returned to Schuyler County. There, her son Bobby Gene came on February 23, 1950, followed by son Jackie Dean on November 8, 1952, followed by son Steven Harold on June 29, 1956, and ending with Nancy Ann (Elliott) on May 2, 1961.
Having no phobia of hard work, Daisy and Harold worked together for several years, sharecropping to make their living and provide for their family. Eventually, they were able to buy their own place between Downing and Lancaster near the TV tower in 1964. She milked cows every day, morning and night, grew a huge garden, and canned it and somehow managed to fit in the cleaning and the cooking, which she was especially adept at. After selling the dairy herd, she spent many years cooking at Schuyler County High School when it was still in Lancaster, and later at the Head Start in Glenwood, where she made many new friends with her culinary talents and kind disposition. While at the Head Start, she was known as Miss Daisy.
She was a believer in Christ and attended several local churches over the years and was particularly fond of her time worshipping with the Downing Community Church. She was always a champion of the downtrodden. She had great empathy. She was kind to everyone. Her grandchildren frequently encountered people she’d come to know who’d gush about how nice she was.
Her parents and siblings are all deceased. Harold preceded her in death in 2007. Her son Bob Gray preceded her in death in 2016. She is survived by Bob’s wife Janie of Hamilton, Missouri, her son Jack and his wife Vicky of Lancaster, Missouri, her son Steve of Lancaster, Missouri, her daughter Nancy and her husband Scott Elliott of Downing, Missouri. Also surviving are her grandchildren Mike Gray of Braymer, Missouri, Brady Gray of Breckenridge, Missouri, Greg Gray of Hamilton, Missouri, Sara Groves of Gower, Missouri, Ben Gray of Kirksville, Missouri, Melissa Gray of Milan, Missouri, Travis Gray of Brashear, Missouri, Seth Gray of Lancaster, Missouri, Tamira Marriott of Chillicothe, Missouri, Tony Elliott of Kirksville, Missouri, and Tacy Elliott of Kirksville, Missouri. Also preceding her in death was a grandson Kerry Elliott of Memphis, Missouri and a great-grandson Ryker Elliott. She also leaves 23 surviving great grandchildren and 7 great, great grandchildren, her sister-in-law Ellen Rose (Middleton) Shepherd of Chicago, Illinois, and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Norman Funeral Home in Lancaster, Missouri with Brad Drummond, officiating. Music will be special selections of “Jealous of the Angels” and “Coat of Many Colors”. Pallbearers will be Mike Gray, Brady Gray, Greg Gray, Ben Gray, Travis Gray, Seth Gray, and Tony Elliott. A eulogy will be given by Ben Gray and Brady Gray. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at the Norman Funeral Home in Lancaster, Missouri. Memorials have been established for Schuyler County Nutrition Site or Fabius Cemetery. Online condolences may be expressed to the family by logging on to normanfh.com. Burial will be in the Fabius Cemetery, east of Lancaster, Missouri. Arrangements are under the direction of the Norman Funeral Home of Lancaster, Missouri.