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Rosemary Gray

01/19/1936 - 09/18/2023
Service Date: 09/23/2023
Service Time: 10:00 am
Service Location: Bunker Garden Chapel

Rosemary Gray died in Mesa, Arizona on September 18, 2023 of natural causes.

Rosemary Lueras was born on January 19, 1936, at home at Lemitar, New Mexico, the daughter of Santa Cruz Lueras and Emilia Birner Lueras. Santa Cruz was a farmer and later worked for the Santa Fe Railroad as a pumper in the days when train engines needed water. His last job was working maintaining the water pumps for the city of Belen, NM. Emilia was a stay-at-home Mom all of her life, she loved doing embroidery.

She attended schools in New Mexico and after graduating from Belen High School when she was active in many organizations including National Honor Society. Future Homemakers of America and was President of FHA at the local, district and state levels. She was President of her Senior Class and elected Most Likely to Succeed. Rosemary attended Girls ‘State and was Salutatorian of her 1953 graduating class. She went on to New Mexico State University where she earned a B.A. in Business Administration.

While at NMSU she met and married Allan B. Gray Jr. in 1954. Allan finished his PhD in 1960, the first from NMSU, while working at White Sands where he really was a rocket scientist. In 1961 Allan, Rosemary and their children Sue and Lee moved to Flagstaff, Arizona where Allan was hired as a mathematics professor.

Rosemary was a member of Federated Community Church where she helped with Sunday School, Bible School, served on the Christian Center Board, Worship Commission, Deacon and belonged to Martha Circle. She was active in the Girl Scout organization serving as a program consultant, adult trainer, Day Camp Director and as a leader for 10 years. She received the outstanding service award in 1972. Rosemary was a member of the social sorority Beta Sigma Phi, Alpha Alpha Chapter for several years; she received the woman of the year award in 1978. At NAU she participated in the Faculty Wives Club and served as president in 1979-80. She was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi and was pledge advisor to the NAU Theta Omega Chapter for many years and received an outstanding service award in 1973.

In 1976 she completed a master’s degree in Spanish. While studying at the University she was elected to the honor societies of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Pi and Phi Sigma Iota. Soon after receiving the M.A. the Modern Languages Department hired Rosemary to teach Spanish. During the 17 years she was at NAU she coordinated lower division, supervised student teachers, Supervised placement tests, taught in the Immersion Program and advised many students. She received an outstanding teacher award in 1988 from the Arizona Foreign Language Association. Allan and Rosemary retired in 1991. At that time the Modern Languages Dept. honored her at a dinner. At the Chicano graduation she was given a service award from NAACHE, Norther Arizona Association of Chicanos for Higher Education.

Rosemary enjoyed listening to music especially Chopin, Ravel and Tchaikovsky, Opera and easy listening particularly from musical and her favorite singer was Dean Martin. She enjoyed poetry, her favorite poem was En Paz (In Peace) by Amado Nervo. She loved to read romances and mysteries.

After retirement Rosemary and Allan travel a great deal. When they were in town beginning November 1991 she volunteered weekly as a tour gude at the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park.  On March 28, 2007 she and husband Allan were awarded Volunteer of the year by the Arizona State Parks Northwestern region. The Celebration was at the State Capitol. KNAZ Channel 2 Flagstaff on June 14, 2007 featured Allan and Rosemary for their volunteer work at the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park in their “someone to know” segment.

She was active in the NAU Retirees Assoc. and was the Benefits Liaison from NAURA to the University Benefits Committee for 10 years She was President of the organization in 2003-2004.

In 2021 due to failing health, Rosemary relocated to Fellowship Square in Mesa, AZ where she continued to live independently until her death. She enjoyed sitting outside and visiting with residents, continued to attend religious services and watching Diamondbacks play baseball.

Rosemary L. Gray is survived by her children Sue Foster (William) from Texas, Lee Gray (Jackie) from Flagstaff, residing in Mesa. Grandchildren: Allan James Gray (Heather) , Dustin Gray (Sara), J.D. Foster (Andrea), Rose Ann Foster Mullet(Ross), Jason Fauset (Tanya), Cody Fauset, Ben Fauset (Kinsey). Great Grandchildren Allan James Gray Jr. Pierce Aidan Gray, Carson Neilon, Cruz Franklin, Anabella Fauset, Cherish Fauset, Ansley Abbott Foster, Lawson Ellis Foster, Ian Mullet.

She is preceded in death by her parents Santa Cruz and Emilia Lueras and her brother Bennie and Pete Lueras from New Mexico.

Memorial Services will be held in Mesa, Arizona, Saturday Sept. 23, 2023 at Buckner Garden Mortuary on Centennial Way.

 

Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.

Condolences

  • Blessings to her family! Rosemary was a lovely woman whom I met while working out at the Adult Center. She always greeted me with a genuine smile, and engaged in interesting conversations, no matter the topic! She added a “sparkle” to everything she shared about life, whether it was what she was looking forward to cooking, to her pear tree and flowers, or to the wines we discussed. She was a unique gift every time we talked.

  • Mrs. Gray was an amazing woman, scout leader and role model for many young girls. She instilled in us honor, truthfulness and resilience as a Girl Scout leader. I will fondly remember her as a feminist before her time. My condolences to her family.

  • Ryan and Sammie Biter

    I was fortunate to know Rosemary for the 7 years I worked at Federated Church. I had helped her a few times with her beautiful garden over the years. Rosemary had and eye for beauty and added so much of it in the world: in her garden, in her colorful hats, and in her person. I will always remember her as extremely insightful, intelligent, and open. She didn’t give praise lightly, but when she did she meant it. She let you know when she appreciated you. She was a beautiful soul that will be sorely missed. Love the Biter family.

  • Aunt Rosemary was always such a positive and energetic lady.
    Aunt Rosemary was a special lady. Although I did not get to spend a great deal of time with my aunt, I was always able to learn something new. Rosemary was very intelligent, enthusiastic and energetic. She had a remarkable ability to encourage and motivate others through he ability to relate. She was a remarkable lady and will be missed

    Aunt Rosemary was a special lady. She was very intelligent, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about so much. Although we did not get to spend a great deal of time together, I always was able to learn something new each time we were together. Her accomplishments were many and her compassion towards others was evident, as she always remembered birthdays, anniversaries, and names. She was one of a kind and will be missed .

  • I enjoyed Rosemary’s company for many years. At the adult center where she worked out 3 days a week, everyone appreciated her conversation, sometimes in Spanish. Rosemary was always dressed smartly, but it was her kindness to others and constant integrity that drew the most respect. My wife and I were fortunate to celebrate Rosemary’s birthdays over dinner at the Van Kat’s’s/Huffman’s. As a flower lover, Rosemary would sometimes show me around her yard full of blooms, or her beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Perhaps she was most proud of her beautiful, enormous pink poinsettia. After Rosemary moved to Mesa to be nearer her son, we sometimes gathered around as a group to phone Rosemary and all talk with her. She is definitely remembered, cherished and missed.

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