Mary Lou Bray, 72, of Livingston, passed away peacefully at Livingston Memorial Hospital early Friday morning, February 23, 2007 after a courageous battle with cancer. Cremation has taken place at Franzen-Davis Crematory.
She was born December 18, 1934 in Hannibal, Missouri, the daughter of Jack and Josephine (Seeger) Owens and she spent her early life and attended schools there. After attending nursing school in St. Louis, where she received her nursing degree, she moved to Chicago to work as a registered nurse.
While there she met Dr. Robert A. "Chuck" Bray, a native of Big Timber, Montana, and they were married on June 14, 1959 in Hannibal. They moved to Seattle, Wash. and Mary Lou continued her nursing practice at the University of Washington while her husband completed his surgical residency.
In 1966 they moved to Livingston where Dr. Bray established a surgical practice with Park Clinic. Mary Lou worked briefly as a nurse in Livingston, but primarily spent her time raising her children. Dr. Bray died in May of 1994.
During her years in Livingston, Mary Lou was very active in the community, serving on the school board, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Vestry, the Episcopal Church Women, Livingston Memorial Hospital League, Chapter AP of PEO, and assisted with local Red Cross blood drives. She was very involved in scouting, assisting with her son's Boy Scout Troop, and was a Girl Scout Troop Leader, Girl Scout day camp director and continued to be active as a director on the Treasure Trails Girl Scout Council Board until shortly before her death.
She also volunteered for Yellowstone Gateway Museum, Livingston Depot Center Museum, Loaves and Fishes, and Meals on Wheels. She loved to play cards and was a member of several bridge clubs.
Mary Lou was well known for her cooking, loved to entertain, enjoyed gardening and took pride in her annual Christmas display. She also loved animals, especially her springer spaniel, Jake. She approached everything she did with determination and spirit which she maintained until the final days of her life.
In addition to her husband, Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, an infant brother, and brothers Bob and Howard Owens and sister, Doris Owens Hehmeyer.
Survivors include her children, Rob Bray of Culbertson, Mont., daughters Laura Bray and her life partner, Rebecca Canner of Livingston, and Margaret Bray and her companion Mark "Sparky" Hannah of Missoula, and numerous nieces, nephews and close friends.
A memorial service was held at noon, Tuesday, February 27 at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Livingston followed by a reception in the church fellowship happ. Graveside committal and burial of the cremated remains occured Tuesday in Mountainview Cemetery in Big Timber.
If so desired, memorials may be directed to St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 310 W. Lewis St., Livingston, MT 59047; or Livingston Girl Scout Lodge c/o Treasure Trails Girl Scout Council, P.O. Box 30595, Billings, MT 59107; or Chapter AP of PEO scholarship fund, P.O. Box 1335, Livingston, MT 59047.
Arrangements were under the direction of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home.