Gretchen Mae Gray, age 93, passed away March 2, 2021 at The Friendly Home in Rochester.
Gretchen was born March 11, 1927 in East Springwater, a daughter of Mark and Hazel (Pardee) Richards. She was a former Title Clerk at Roberts Chrysler Plymouth in Honeoye Falls and Bookkeeper for the family farms. She was the loving widow of Charles H. Gray. She and Charlie lived in Prattsburgh when they were first married, then they moved to Scottsville where they spent 22 years working the farm on Scottsville-Mumford Rd and enjoying the community where their daughters attended Caledonia-Mumford Central School. Barn dances, homecoming floats, snowmobiling and summers on Canandaigua Lake were all memories filled with joy and laughter.
Gretchen was a sweet, fun and adventurous lady. When Charlie bought a motorcycle she rode once or twice on the back with him and knew quickly that being a passenger was not her place and she wanted her own. At age 50 she learned to ride a motorcycle and joined the Motor Maids cycling club. Long after Charlie quit riding she continued and was attending all-woman cycling conventions and donning uniforms to ride in parades across the Northeast and Canada. She loved the outdoors, gardening and could drive tractor with the best of them. She was known for leveling the pit silo at harvest time each fall, a job that scared many men. She was also known for her beautiful wedding cakes.
Gretchen and Charlie retired in 1985 and moved back to Prattsburgh where they purchased the farm on Armstrong Rd and thrived there for 31 years. She kept busy and in many ways caught her stride during retirement as she was a member of the Prattsburgh United Methodist Church and the Gu-Ya-No-Ga chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Gretchen also volunteered for Prattsburgh Historical Society, Steuben County Senior Services and Food Kitchen. She loved spending time taking care of flowers and mowing the lawn on the farm. She was caring, considerate and loved by all who knew her.
She handled the struggles given to her in life with grace and dignity. Her courage and resilience was remarkable. She was a wonderful mother, wife, sister, grandmother and friend. She asked for very little and was so easy to love. She lived through the great depression and a global pandemic. She was proof that they make farm girls tough.
In addition to her parents and husband, Gretchen is also predeceased by her sister Martha (Ray) Fisher and brothers: Robert and Marcus Richards.
Gretchen is survived by her children: Linda (Steve) Ludlum and Carol (Deb) Gray; grandchildren: Kelly (Ryan) Cooke, Shannon (Nikko) Fenderson, Colin (Svetlana) Ludlum, Niki (Ian) Schlegel and Alek (Jenna) Rencis; great-grandchildren: Hudson, Miles and Fiona Schlegel; brother and sister-in-law, Calvin (Marty) Richards; sisters-in-law: Pauline Richards, Mary (Forrest) Dye, Beverly Sick, Margaret Gray and Shirley Gray, along with many nieces, nephews, special friends and neighbors.
Services will be provided by the Walter E. Baird & Sons Funeral Home, 300 West Naples St., Wayland. The family will hold a private ceremony and burial in Clearview Cemetery, N. Cohocton. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Focus on the Children www.focuschild.org and Hillside www.hillside.com
A Memorial Tree was planted for Gretchen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Walter E. Baird & Sons Funeral Home, Inc.