Esther L. Gray
Esther L. Gray, 90, of 189 N. Second St., Hughesville, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, March 5, 2009, with her children and other family members by her side.
She was born March 22, 1918, next door to the home she has lived in for the last 62 years, the daughter of the late Gifford and Edna Reichard Stutzman. Her husband of 56 years, Carl B. “Dinty” Gray, preceded her in death on January 7, 2004.
Esther graduated from the State Beauty School, Williamsport in 1947 and operated a beauty shop in her home, serving her last customers at the age of 81. She was a “Rosie the Riveter” at Bethlehem Steel in Williamsport during WWII and worked at other local Lycoming County businesses while building her beauty shop clientele.
Esther was a charter member of the Hughesville Business and Professional Women’s Club, a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Monsey Chapter 481, Muncy, a member of the former Lady Hughes Rebekah Lodge 215, and a member of the Christ United Methodist Church, Hughesville.
Surviving are two daughters, Donna Kiesinger and Denise (J.R. Stanley) Gray, both of Hughesville; a son, Richard (Susan) Gray of Hendersonville, North Carolina; six grandchildren, Dr. Richard (Susan) Gray of Gig Harbor, Washington, Erin (Douglas) Walter of Carol Stream, Illinois, Michael (Jill) Gray of Wheaton, Illinois, Heather (Colman) Gately of Galway, Ireland, PFC Zachary (Katherine) Balliet enroute to Iraq and Matthew Balliet of Hughesville; 10 great-grandsons; four great-granddaughters; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Esther was preceded in death by a sister, Leah Banghart; two brothers, John and Charles Stutzman; and a son-in-law, Donald Kiesinger.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, at the McCarty-Thomas Funeral Home, 557 E. Water St., Hughesville, with the Rev. G. Edward Corcelius officiating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Hughesville. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the funeral home where the Monsey Chapter 481 will perform a service at 8:45 p.m.
The family will provide the flowers and suggest memorial contributions be made to the Christ United Methodist Church Organ Fund, 148 S. Main St., Hughesville, PA 17737.
Esther’s two daughters, her primary caregivers for the past year, and her son, wish to express sincere appreciation to Hospice and Home Instead Senior Care staff and others who so compassionately participated in the care of their mother during her prolonged illness.