Gray, Norma Jean

GRAY – A well-known resident f this community and prominent in agricultural circles in Alberta, Norma  Jean Gray died October 9, 1977 in Brooks General Hospital after a long illness at the age of 60.

Born in Olds, Alta. on June 17, 1917 she attended school there, later graduating from the Olds School of Agriculture. She moved to Calgary in 1938 where she attended Calgary Normal School and taught  for two years in the Sundre district.

Mrs. Gray attended the University of Alberta from 1941-44 and returned to Calgary after graduation and was employed by the Alberta government as a district  home economist. She married there in 1950, coming to Brooks where she has resided since.

She was named 1973 Citizen of the Year by the  Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce for her contributions to the community, and in 1976 she was voted to the Olds College Alumni Hall of Fame.

In addition to her extension duties with Alberta Agriculture in the early years, she did experimental work on the freezing of Alberta fruits and vegetables at the Brooks Horticultural Research Centre. All  through those years she placed special importance on 4-H work and has supervised more than 40  girls 4-H clubs.

“Nobody in this province better understands the need to promote Alberta agricultural products than Norma Gray,”  said Mrs. Tom (Edna) Clarke in presenting Mrs. Gray for her appointment  to the Olds Hall of Fame.

“In 1974 the department of agriculture sent her to Japan to promote Alberta meat. We could have sent  no one better, because for 25 years the relationship between Norma and Canadians of Japanese  origin within her own district has been one of warmth and never ending good Will.”

Mrs. Gray served two terms on Brooks town council where she was active in the Library Board, Recreation Board, the Planning Commission and Newbrook Lodge. She also found time to contribute to the activities of the Order of the Eastern Star.

In more recent years she was Regional Home Economist for the Lethbridge Region. “Under her leadership the home economics program moves ahead, always motivated by the highest level of responsibility to the people of Alberta,” were further comments of Mrs. Clarke.

Surviving are her husband, Bob of Brooks, and her twin sister, Lillian Hogg of Edmonton.

Funeral service will be Wednesday, Oct. 12 at  two o’clock in Brooks United Church with the Rev. George G. Scott officiating and interment will be in Brooks cemetery.

Honorary pallbearers are Carl Anderson, Jim  Wilkie, Tom Tajiri, Jens Block, Archie Boyce and Frank Charlton. Active pallbearers are Duncan Hargrave, Jack Anderson, Tom Clarke, Ken Jackson, Sherry Clarke  and John Calpas.

If friends desire, donations may be made to the Norma Jean Gray Scholarship Fund.