La’Ray L. Gilbreath passed away on August 1, 2017 at the age of 77.
She was a native of Alice, Texas and the only child of Madison and Billye Leath who preceded her in death. Her loving husband, Charles L. Gilbreath, also preceded her in death. She is survived by daughter Denise Bartell, son-in-law Jon Bartell, grandson Matthew Bartell and granddaughters Leah and Caitlin Bartell.
La’Ray graduated from Alice High School in 1958 then attended Southwest Texas State College. She and Charles married in 1959 and moved to Houston. She completed her college education at the University of Houston earning a degree in Education. She was a teacher at Memorial High School for 10 years in the 1970’s. She was an engaging teacher and many of her students remained in contact with her years after they graduated some becoming close family friends.
La’Ray retired from teaching and enjoyed volunteering to help others. She was a member of the P.E.O Sisterhood, Chapter AE, for over 40 years which promotes educational opportunities for women. She was a Lifetime Committee member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo serving on the Special Children’s committee. La’Ray was also a Child Protective Services advocate and CASA volunteer and earned a CASA volunteer of the year award. She also volunteered for TOMAGWA Healthcare Ministries and enjoyed many years with the Tomball Book Club.
La’Ray was a loving wife and happily supported Charles’ career and hobbies. But when Charles began taking flying lessons to earn to his Private Pilot license, La’Ray who was a firm member of the “white knuckle club” was not so happy about it. Yet, decided she needed to take flying lessons, as well, so that they both knew how to safely land the plane.
Together, La’Ray and Charles provided a warm, loving and active home hosting countless Christmas parties, Chase the Ace parties, P.E.O luncheons and dinner parties. They provided a hub for their daughter and her friends and their friends and neighbors to gather always serving food and good fun.
The family would like to thank Silverado Memory Care for providing their loving care to La’Ray the last years of her life.
Services for La’Ray will be held at Klein Funeral Home in Tomball, Texas on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at 10 a.m In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in La’Ray’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association at Alz.org/texas.