Gray Williams, passed at ninety years old, born on May 16, 1927 to Frank and Gertrude at home in the town of Hammonton which no longer exists. He was the youngest of five: two brothers, and two sisters. Grays’ mother passed away from pneumonia during the depression when he was only 1 1/2 years old. Gray’s father had no way of caring for a baby and four other siblings under the age of seven, so the two youngest were sent to live with relatives; big sister Loretta to an aunt in San Francisco and Gray to relatives in Chico California.
Loretta would spend the summers in Chico with Gray, reporting back to her brothers and sister on all the terrible things Gray was up to, sneaking a horse out of the stalls and riding it throughout Chico for hours, hopping on the freight train, and taking Loretta to the hobo camps for their 10 cent haircuts. Loretta was sure Gray would end up in jail so the kids all voted to go to their dad and insist that Gray be brought home. In later years Gray would laugh about his plan having worked to get him reunited with his family.
Gray and Betty graduated from Marysville High School in 1945. Just last May when we had Gray’s 90th Birthday Party, a fellow classmate who was an all-around athlete at Marysville high, said that he had tried to recruit Gray for the football team because “he was big as a house.” Gray couldn’t join the team because he had to take the bus home after school, but not only did he TAKE the bus – he DROVE the bus.
Gray worked in construction and was also a truck driver, driving all over Northern California. During his long, hard-working career, he worked for many businesses including Rice Brothers, Safeway and retired from Teichert Construction. Gray considered himself a “jack of all trades and a master of many.” Betty worked many years for Burns Trucking in Yuba City and was an integral part of the company. There was almost nothing Betty couldn’t do. She helped the careers of many local young people and was a great mentor.
Gray and Betty married in March 1958 and started their married life together with Betty’s son, Steve. Gray and Betty’s relationship was a very special one that weathered both dark storms, the devastating loss of their son Stephen, and extreme jubilation. Their impact on others was great and the love they gave was immense. They worked hard all their lives and had amazing adventures traveling to many places around the world. One cruise they took was completely around South America starting in Florida. The cruise included sailing around the Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America, which is one of the deadliest passages on the ocean. The cruise also took them more than 1000 miles up the Amazon River to the city of Manaus, a famous Brazilian town with a grand Opera Theatre where many celebrated European Opera singers perform.
Gray had a habit of using his humor in many ways. One day in the late 50s around Halloween Gray covered himself with a sheet and snuck down the street where his son Steve and Ralphie, a neighbor, were sitting. At the site of this ‘Ghost” Ralphie started running down the street screaming and Steve running behind him yelling “Ralphie, Ralphie, … wait it’s just Gray.”
In 2007, a year after the love of his life Betty passed, Gray decided to go on a BIG adventure. Booking an around-the-world 4 plus month cruise departing from Florida, Gray saw amazing sites and met and made friends with people from all over the world. In Valencia, Spain, he saw parts of the America’s Cup Yacht race. The ship was on the live camera at the docks in Valencia and could be viewed on the computer when watching the races. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the way to its final destination, New York City, Gray’s friends threw a party for his 80th birthday.
After Betty died and the years passed, Gray was able to stay at home with the help of immensely caring people who were with Gray 24/7. Gray’s humor was always front and center. When visiting nurses would come he would joke with them with that twinkle in his eye. Sometimes he would tell the funniest and most amazing jokes that he could remember from years back.
One day as the visiting nurse was leaving she asked “Mr. Williams is there anything else that is bothering you or hurting you?” He answered “Well, yes, this Trumpitis, really hurts and I don’t know if there is anything that can be done.” She was unclear about what Trumpitis was and how to fix it.
Betty and Gray were a funny, kind and loving couple.
We miss them dearly.
We invite you up to shop from Betty and Gray’s household Tuesday March 27th 9am-6pm.
The address is 1700 Capri Drive Yuba City Ca (only one hour from South Land Park) or most of Sacramento! We hope you will join us.
Fair pricing Tuesday 9am-12noon, half price 12noon-3pm Tuesday, $1 per item on nearly all non-furniture, art or electronic items and then boxlot Tuesday from 4pm-6pm.
We’ll have donation and free going from the garage and driveway on Tuesday from 6pm-7pm
This house is LOADED with great deals. From 80 inch tvs to hundreds of clothes, jewelry, kitchenware, Apple Franciscan, artwork, pottery, books, lps, tools and so much more including some great sets of white wrought iron patio sets. We know you will love this sale once you view all the photos. This is a very well known and historical family from Yuba City and surrounding areas so there will be lots of people coming by to pay their respects.
We hope you can join us and also hope you will write us a wonderful review on google or yelp!
Thanks for your patronage and also the read.
Jen and crew