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1939 Alta 2024

Alta Ruth Gray

January 5, 1939 — March 4, 2024

Nowata, OK

 Alta Ruth (Merrell) Gray departed this life on March 4, 2024, at the age of 85. She was born on January 5, 1939, to Joseph Vernon Merrell and Bessie (Elledge) Merrell. 

She grew up on the Reinheart Ranch at Coody’s Bluff, Oklahoma, where her dad worked in the oil fields. She loved the country life. She attended the Salt Creek School through the 2nd grade, When the school closed, she went to Alluwe School, where she graduated in 1957. In 1958, she and her parents moved from the country to in Nowata. She started dating the love of her life, Paul Gray. They were married on January8, 1960, and have been married for 61 years. To this union were born two daughters: Pamela Sue Gray and Deborah Ruth Gray.

In 1990, she was blessed with her only granddaughter: Samantha Leah Gray and in 2011 and 2016 two great daughters were born, Emily Rose Gray and Hannah Emeree Gray. She worked at the old McLellan’s store for some time, also the Nowata Star, cleaned First National Branch Bank at South Coffeyville, OK. She was housekeeper for James Arnold, Lola and Bonnie Howe, did ironings and baby sit several children. She loved God and was a member of the Happy Hill Church of God (IHP). She loved gospel music and played the piano and sang for several funerals. She enjoyed the outdoors and camping. She and Paul made a trip to Alaska in 2001. They attended several gospel singings and the National Quartet Convention at Nashville, Tennessee. She loved to do crafts. She loved her family and will be missed.

She is survived by two daughters: Pamela and Deborah of Nowata, one granddaughter: Samantha and husband, Michael Bailey of Eufaula, Oklahoma, two great granddaughters: Emily and Hannah, one sister: Lois Ann Brown of Ponca City, Oklahoma.

She was preceded in death by her parents: Joe and Bessie Merrell; her husband: Paul Gray; and one brother: Billie Joe Merrell.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alta Ruth Gray, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 8, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Benjamin Funeral Services

114 W Cherokee Ave, Nowata, OK 74048

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Graveside Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Memorial Park Cemetery, Nowata


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