Pearl May Gray passed away with family by her side July 22, 2018, at Providence Brookside Manor in Hood River, Ore. Pearl was born Feb. 21, 1919, and was 99 years of age at the time of her passing.
Pearl was born in Missoula, Mont., to Olaf Jens Severson and Lottie May Severson. The family moved from Montana to the Hood River Valley in 1921 and settled in the Parkdale area near Trout Creek Ridge. Pearl attended local schools in Dee and graduated from Hood River High School in 1937.
After graduating high school, Pearl operated the Trout Creek Store on Dee Highway for her father. In 1942, she met and married the love of her life, James K Gray. The two were married in California while Jim was in training for the U.S. Army. After World War II, Pearl settled with her husband in Parkdale until 1949, when they moved to Hood River.
In the fall of 1946, Jim and Pearl welcomed their first child, Kathleen, followed by their son, James, who was born in the winter of 1950. During the ‘50s and ‘60s, Pearl worked at the local packing houses including Duckwall, Webster and Wells family packinghouses. She was always proud to say that she was the number one packer wherever she worked.
Pearl enjoyed her family more than anything and loved to spend as much time as possible with her children and grandchildren. Pearl cherished the time she spent with all of her great-grandchildren. She would often comment how blessed she was to get to spend so much time with the young people that she loved so much.
She loved to share stories of her family in earlier years and to reminisce about the times she spent with her husband. Pearl relied on her faith heavily, as she was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hood River. Here she met many lifelong friends who all meant the world to her.
Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, James; daughter, Kathleen; and brothers, Sigvart, Earl, Carl and Norman. Pearl is survived by her sister, Barbara Jean of Phoenix, Ariz.; her son, James, and his wife, Linda, of Hood River; son-in-law, Ed Pederson, of Spokane, Wash.; grandson, Paul Pederson, and his wife, Rosie of Spokane; granddaughter, Michelle Jacobs, and her husband, Tyson, of Hood River; and grandson, Russ, and his wife, Jennifer, of Hood River; as well as seven great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 305 Ninth St., Hood River, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4. Graveside Rites will follow at Idlewilde Cemetery of Hood River.
Friends are invited to greet with family and view from 1-3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 3 at Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River.
Memorials are encouraged in lieu of flowers to be made to the Oregon Alzheimer’s Association and sent care of Anderson’s Tribute Center.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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