Marjorie (Marji) Adele Gray
(12.4.23 – 8.11.17)
a hard thing to do. To write a short summary of someone who lived such a
full, happy life. To utter 'THE END' about someone whose story you will
never stop telling. To craft that perfect punchline about the funniest
damn person you ever met.
But we're going to attempt it. Because she'd be mad if we didn't.
Adele Sharp Gray was the youngest of three daughters born to Sylva
Leavell Sharp and Charles Manley Sharp in Caldwell, Idaho (okay, Fargo,
Idaho, but is that even a town?) on December 4th, 1923 and left us on
August 11th, 2017 at her home in Boise. Marji grew up mostly in and
around Caldwell and graduated from Caldwell High. Her older sisters,
Joyce and Claire were spunky, beautiful, popular and confident. Marji
was a mama's girl and proud of it (she was also spunky, beautiful and
popular, but found her own kind of confidence a little later in life).
After high school, she worked at the 'Telephone Office' for a few years,
dated 'soldier boys' and then married Aubrey Gray because he was the
cutest boy around and he wooed her like crazy. They used to dance at the
Signal, the 'IT' club on Nampa Caldwell Boulevard, and lots of other
places in the valley that aren't around anymore. (Spoiler alert: their
mission was to make life FUN and they did, for 72 years.) They also had
five kids—they kept trying until they got it right and then lo' and
behold—they ended up with five kids. Randall (Jane), Rebecca (Jim)
Gardner, Elizabeth (Mark) Anderson, Marshall (Michele) and Melissa
During the '60s & '70s, Aubrey's work had them
moving from Nampa to Glenn's Ferry, and then back and forth again. So of
course, Marji dragged the kids along; some willingly, some not so.
Aside from the typical day-to-day stuff, there were parties and family
trips to Disneyland, Del Mar and McCall—and those trips got more fun
with each passing year (although 7 people in Marji's sexy, red 2-door
Buick Riviera got a little cramped). In summer, there was horse-racing
and wave-riding (on deflated beach rafts when the stingrays were out),
softball and epic sunburns. There was Snake River innertube floating,
slip-n-slides in the yard, and fried chicken gizzards. In winter, there
was late-night snowmobiling and sledding to the cliff's edge on Sailor
Creek, and Christmases so brilliant, they defy description. And always
laughter, so much laughter, no matter the season.
SO ANYWAY, Marji
and Aubrey settled in Boise in the late '70s to continue their story:
kids having grandkids, and grandkids having great-grandkids, building
their party house, cruises and traveling on their own, with their kids
and with long-time friends. The two of them lived a super cool life.
life WAS her family, but there was so much more to her than that: Sure,
she was a wife/soulmate. An uncommon mom. An adoring daughter. A loving
sister. A loyal friend. BUT she was also: An unrealized artist. An
interior-decorator extraordinaire. An amazing writer and communicator.
An intrepid student of life. A philosopher. A hymn-lover. A long-time
member of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. An intuitive soundboard (AKA, a
good listener). The best Room-Mom ever. The life of the party. A
charming personality. An intriguing storyteller. A true fashion-plate. A
devoted caregiver. A lifelong Democrat. A humble survivor of one of
life's harshest blows. And the strongest person anyone who knew her will
ever know. It seems fruitless to even try to find words that capture
who she was, the things she accomplished and the life she lived. So,
suffice it to say: if you didn't know her, we're sorry you missed out.
And if you did, you know how lucky you are.
Aubrey Forrest Gray
(8.11.21 – 7.16.17)
senenader of silly songs. A gentleman farmer in Tony Lamas and an
enormous Ford truck. A cow-milking, roulette-playing, Bud
Light-drinking, Paul Newman doppelganger. A ridiculously hard worker who
was tougher than nails. A humble guy, when he wasn't bragging about his
family. A rabble-rouser who was always in trouble at school. A
jack-of-all-trades, and a master of them, too. An artist of barbeque; he
had a way with the rib-eye. A softball team sponsor, a Boise State fan.
An open wallet and a huge heart. A man of many friends, a passel of
progeny, 9¾ fingers and very few words. A true Idahoan (except for his
politics). A wealth measured in laughs, celebrations with his gang, and
72 years with the girl he loved (See Marji's story above).
He's our dad. And now he's our angel.
There will be tears, but bring your dancing shoes!
It's time to celebrate the lives and love story of Aubrey and Marji.
September 16th, 6:00pm– 9:00pm (BBQ – bring a side dish if you like),
Home of Katie & David Gries (Granddaughter), 22124 Dip Lane, Parma,
A 2nd Celebration will be held, Sunday, December 3r, 2:00pm –
5:00pm, Home of Annie and Dusty Coates (Granddaughter), 8300 Hwy 20/26,