Mary Bernadine Gray is pre-deceased by her parents, Bernard and Mary O’Brien Gray and her brother Buddy (Bernard) Gray.
Mary is survived by her sisters Pat Gray and Joan Lindberg (Vern), her beloved daughter Marria McKenzie (Ronald Bock), and her special friend George Richter. She also leaves behind nieces, nephews and a legion of friends.
Mary Bernardine Gray was born on October 26, 1938, the second child of Bernard and Mary O’Brien Gray. Mary’s older sister was Patricia and her younger siblings were Buddy and Joan. Mary graduated from St. Sebastian’s Grammar School in Woodside and St. Vincent Ferrer High School in Manhattan. Her first after-school job was as a secretary at the General Electric Company on Lexington Avenue–within easy walking distance of St. Vincent’s.
After graduating from high school, Mary took jobs at General Electric, Pan American World Airways, and British Airways. At both airlines, Mary worked in the cargo department, using new computerized systems to book cargo shipments.
In 1961, the Gray Family moved from Woodside to the Hampton Court Cooperative apartments in Jackson Heights. Eventually Mary purchased her own co-op in Hampton Court near the rest of the family. Since then Mary has split her time between Hampton Court and Hampton Bays.
Mary enjoyed skiing in winter and beaches in summer. From Rockaway to Jones Beach, from Cape Cod to Hampton Bays, the lure of the Atlantic called her.
While Mary lived all her life on Long Island, she took full advantage of the travel opportunities of an airline worker. Some of the places she visited were Portugal, Spain, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Kenya, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Japan. After retirement, Mary and George took vacation cruises to various Caribbean island. They attended annual Naval reunions with George’s fellow veterans.
Mary enjoyed life. She collected friends. One special friend, Margaret Byrnes has written, “Mary has so many friends. At the Senior Center she enjoyed coffee, conversation, and cards. Mary enjoyed going to church fairs during the Christmas season. She enjoyed going to Ponquogue Beach where a group of us would relax on the deck and share our thoughts in solving the world’s problems! We called ourselves ‘The Waves’.”
Mary was a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Whenever she attended church she always visited the statue of the Blessed Mother for candle lighting after Mass.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to one of Mary’s favorite charities, the Maryknoll Missions or the St. Francis Breadline.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Gray, please visit our floral store.