Mary M. Stray (1939 – 2013)

On Thursday, January 17, 2013 Mary closed her eyes for a final time with her adoring and loving husband, Gary, at her bedside. She had been a resident at the Desert Breeze Senior Living Home in Desert Hot Springs, CA since mid November 2012.
Mary always tried to enjoy life to it’s fullest. Was an excellent swimmer, excelled in Thai Chi and enjoyed her walking exercise even after her Early Onset of Alzheimer’s was diagnosed in early 2010. She enjoyed and excelled in cooking, making several dozen assorted cookies each Christmas for her customer’s, co-workers, neighbors and family to enjoy. Always had a paperback in her purse to read on her breaks or in a waiting room.
Born in Houston, Texas on February 26th, she moved with her stepmother and her two older sisters; Allene and Jean, to Santa Paula, CA shortly before beginning high school. Her birth mother passed before she was 5 and then their father passed before the move.
Mary married Gary on May 3rd in 1975 in Fresno, CA and moved to be with him and his son’s, Mark and Stan in Carmichael, CA. In the fall of 1979, Mary and Gary moved to Aptos, CA and then to Palm Springs in late 1994. She always looked at these moves as opportunities to make new friends, enjoy new opportunities and explore new places.
Mary leaves many, many friends and co-workers from her banking career, beginning with and retiring from Bank of America. In 1995 she began working again with Palm Desert National Bank and later with Rabobank both in Palm Springs. Priscilla remembers her as always wanting to help ALL the customers—not just the ones who were at her window! Coming up with great, funny one-liners with her quick wit”. Fully retired when she and her husband moved to the Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs in 2005, Mary was ready to begin another journey.
In addition to her husband Gary, Mary leaves her son Bruce. Mark and Stan, Gary’s sons and daughter in-laws - Michelle and Sheri and Stan’s friend Gwynn. Precious grand children; Riley, Kathryn, Rachel, Sean, Jillian, James, Melissa and one great granddaughter, Anneliese. Gary’s sisters: Carol and son Kris, and Mary Lou, her husband Dave and their children Rob and Randy and their wife’s and families. Friends Shirley Cruse of Palm Springs and Meg Zaun of Fresno were like a sister and daughter to her.
Mary, will be always be immeasurably missed by all but especially by her older sister, Jean Haase of Fillmore, CA. Including many nieces and nephews who currently are living in the cities of Laguna Beach, Santa Maria and Fillmore, CA and Houston, Texas. Mary was preceded in death by Jean’s twin sister Allene Turk and a sister Gladys and brother JC.
A celebration of life is planned for Mary at Skillin Carroll Mortuary , 600 Central Ave., Fillmore, CA, March 2, 2013 at 3:00. No flowers are necessary but welcome or if you prefer, make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Assn but do attend Mary’s Celebration of Life and Enjoy this special time.
Poem to be used on Memorial Folders:
I was unable to stay another day.
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
I found that peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh, yes, these things I too will miss.