|Birth: ||Nov. 15, 1899|
|Death: ||Mar. 21, 1980|
Mother of Reuben Springfield Gray, Jean Gray Drake, And Joe Harold Gray.
Inez was born to a hard-working farm family, pioneers, in Thornton, Limestone County, Texas. Her parents, particularly her mother, were very strict. That was unfortunate, for Inez was a dreamer. She didn't like rural life; she wanted to be a clothing designer and live in a big fashionable city. She was very smart, having graduated from high school at 16, she attended a normal school for a year. (Normal schools taught young women to be school teachers, one of the few professions women were allowed.)
At 17, she eloped with the handsome William Harold Gray (also from Thornton), from one of the town's best families. Harold had a car, a dog, a non-farming job, and a dream of being somebody, someday, in a big city like Dallas. And he was also a dreamer.
Harold and Inez had their children right away. Reuben Springfield (Springer) was born in 1818. Jean was born in 1919. Joe was born in 1922. The family still lived in Thornton.
Some time after the children were born, they moved to Dallas. Harold got a job as a cotton buyer and sometimes made as much as $100.00 a day. They moved to a big house. Inez had domestic help. Harold played classical music on the Baby Grande piano. Inez played church hymns and contemporary music on a second Baby Grande. The children had music lessons and little Jean took tap and ballet lessons.
Their life scaled back a little after the Depression hit, but Harold still had jobs like playing the piano in the theater during silent movies, and being a music critic in a newspaper column called "William Tells." But in 1934, Harold's father died. He slid into a terrible depression. He started drinking heavily. As he became more and more undependable, he started losing jobs. The family moved to a smaller house and sold one of the pianos. Inez started working as a seamstress. Things got bad when Harold stole the money Inez was saving for the rent and spent it on a drinking spree.
The two divorced after that. Inez sought the divorce, not because she no longer loved him, but out of self-preservation and a need to protect her three children.
She moved from one house to a smaller, then smaller one - keeping her address a secret from Harold.
In 1941 Harold was drafted into the military. He was in his mid-forties and a broken-down alcoholic, but the U.S. wanted him for his language skills. He could speak five languages: Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, and (of course) English. This gave him a new sense of purpose and might have "saved" him, but during the war he caught tuberculosis.
After the war, and after all three children were married and on their own, Harold and Inez reconciled. A few years later, Harold was sent to a sanatorium in Tuscon, Arizona. That is where he died.
Inez always stayed close to her children. For many years she had been both father and mother, and their protector. When her son Joe came home from war, he pinned his wings on his mother. She always wore those Navy wings with pride. She was sweet, practical, gentle, never said a harsh word against Harold, and was a guiding star for her family. She was a wonderful grandmother. She is greatly missed.
Oscar Springfield (1872 - 1956)
Mary Frances Peery Springfield (1873 - 1963)
William Harold Gray (1897 - 1954)*
Reuben Springfield Gray (1918 - 1994)*
Jean Gray Drake (1919 - 2013)*
Joe Harold Gray (1922 - 2004)*
James Jackson Springfield (1897 - 1942)*
Elva Inez Springfield Gray (1899 - 1980)
Alma Mussette Springfield (1906 - 1918)*
Norma Harriet Springfield (1910 - 1910)*
Lizzie Doris Springfield (1911 - 1919)*
Laurel Land Memorial Park
Plot: section 49, lot 194, space 4
Created by: Dianne Boren
Record added: Aug 19, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57343381