Mary Ada GrayhekNovember 3, 1926 ~ December 20, 2017 (age 91)
Mary Ada Grayhek ~ December 20, 2017
Our beautiful and much-loved Momma, Mary Grayhek, died peacefully surrounded by her family during this Advent season when Christians await the birth of Jesus in joyful anticipation. Baptized in 1947, Mary’s Catholic faith was her bedrock through years of want and plenty, health and illness, heartbreak and joy.
Mary was born in Sarcoxie, MO, Nov. 3, 1926 to William McKinley and Mattie Fern (Hoover) Bricker.
A tomboy (earning her the nick-name “Thomas” by her Daddy) and a great help to her parents, Mary grew up on their small farm before moving to Bremerton, WA in 1944. She worked in the Naval Ship Yard Paymaster procurements/disbursements office in support of the war effort.
At a fateful blind date in 1946 (in which she reluctantly participated) Mary met LeRoy Grayhek, a strong and handsome Marine Raider recently returned from fighting in the South Pacific. They were married six weeks later - a loving union that would last until Roy’s death in 2014.
After Roy’s discharge from the Marines, they moved to Spokane where he began work as a lineman for “Ma Bell.” In 1953, Roy built the family home in Hillyard where they raised their seven children.
Not only a loving wife and mother, Mary was a whiz in the kitchen who could make dinner to feed nine on a shoestring, and the most delectable, flaky-crust pies imaginable. Her artistic skills and thriftiness excelled when repurposing clothing from the St. Vincent de Paul store: seams on an old dress would be opened up, the fabric cut to new shapes and sewn into darling dresses for her girls or an old jacket made into Easter blazers for her boys.
When Jeanette, the baby of the family, went to grade school, Mary found work as a nurse-aide at Holy Family Hospital. She worked in the pediatrics ward where she expertly cared for sick children and offered support to their worried parents until her retirement in 1988.
A cheerful, dedicated and hard-working volunteer, Mary served her fellow man well into her 80’s:
Mary loved gardening and traveling, but her greatest joy was time spent with Roy, the kids and grandkids at their cabin on Priest Lake.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Roy and their baby girl, Annette; her parents Bill and Fern, her siblings Wayne, Nadine and Bill.
She is survived by her seven children: Steve (Mardell), Diane Hardy (Dennis), Larry (Jan), Paul (Paula) Theresa Ferguson (John), Marie Duchow (Darby) and Jeanette Steiner; twenty five grandchildren and twenty two great-grandchildren.
The rosary will be Friday, Dec. 29th at 7:30 p.m. in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, followed by an all-night vigil. The funeral Mass is Saturday, Dec. 30th at 11:00 a.m.
Remembrance gifts in Mary’s name may be made to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church: 5021 N. Nelson Street, Spokane, WA 99217