ALICE, Texas - Ernestine Ray Stanley, 96, passed peacefully into the Lord's arms at her home in Bryan, Texas, on January 6, 2008.
Mrs. Stanley was born June 20, 1911, in Kiowa, Okla., to parents Charles Ernest Ray and Ida Mae King Ray. In 1925, she graduated from C.E. Bird High School in Shreveport, La., and married Henry "Hank" Stanley in Laredo, Texas, December 24, 1930.
They celebrated 69 years together before "Hank" passed away in 1999. A homemaker, wife and mother, Mrs. Stanley epitomized her generation's pioneer spirit of unwavering strength, beauty and grace.
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley were charter members of Parkway Presbyterian Church in Corpus Christi, which was established in 1952. Mrs. Stanley poured her gifts of hospitality, crafts and service into her ministry at Parkway Presbyterian Church where she was deeply involved in the Women of Church Reception Committee, which was responsible for many wedding receptions and other events, and participated n the Lou Ann Dodson Circle, where she met monthly in fellowship with other Christian women.
At age 90, Mrs. Stanley successfully initiated an effort to purchase a harpsichord for the church sanctuary in memory of her late husband, which was dedicated in 2002. She remained active in all areas of the church for more than 54 years, until she moved to Bryan in 2006.
Mrs. Stanley, known as "Granny" and "Maya" to her seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, will always be remembered for her honest answers, her delicious homemade yeast rolls, her hand-sewn pillow cases, her beautifully painted china dishes and her refusal to use an automatic dishwasher. A gifted artist, she started china painting at age 70 and was a proud member of the Highlights China Club in Corpus Christi. Mrs. Stanley's legacy of strength, beauty and grace lives on in the hearts of her family and friends and in each unique flower, fruit and bird scene she painted with care onto her china dishes.
Mrs. Stanley was preceded in death by her husband, Henry "Hank" Stanley, an old hand in the oil business in Alice, Corpus Christi and the Valley area. She was also preceded in death by three sisters, Tiney Cass, Norine Lynch and Minnie Mae Stacy.
Mrs. Stanley is survived by her daughter, Imogene Stanley Vetters and husband Thomas F. Vetters of Bryan; granddaughter Eleanor Vetters Schuler and husband James and their children Kristen, Kallie and Kolton of Bryan; granddaughter Clare Vetters Cougill and husband Tom and their two children Marie and Catherine of Houston; grandson, Thomas F. Vetters II and wife Bethany and their daughter Caroline of Austin.
Mrs. Stanley is also survived by her son, Don Howard Stanley and wife Judy Hailey Stanley and their children Rachelle Stanley and daughter Cadence; grandson Wade Stanley and wife Danetta and their son Blake; granddaughter Camille Stanley Froh and husband Noble and their two children Jacob and Emma; and grandson Nathan Stanley, all of Corpus Christi.
Mrs. Stanley is also survived by her sister, Margarite Ray Kay of Alice, three nephews and two nieces.
Visitation will be at Holmgreen Mortuary from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2008. Graveside services will be Saturday, January 12, 2008 at 10 a.m. at Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Alice, Texas.
A memorial service celebrating Ernestine Ray Stanley's life will be held at Parkway Presbyterian Church, 3707 Santa Fe Street, Corpus Christi, Texas, at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 12, 2008, conducted by the Rev. Allen E. Mosiman, Parkway Presbyterian Minister.
For those interested in making a memorial gift, the family asks that a contribution be made to: Parkway Presbyterian Church, 3707 Santa Fe Street, Corpus Christi, Texas, 78411, or to Hospice Brazos Valley, 502 W. 26th Street, Bryan, Texas, 77803.
Arrangements entrusted to Holmgreen Mortuary, Inc. of Alice. -Paid Obiutary