Stella Maria <I>Albers</I> Gambina/Gray

Photo added by Big Mike

Stella Maria Albers Gambina/Gray

  • Birth 18 Oct 1908 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Death 23 Dec 1995 Torrance, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 32105131

Stella Gray was born Stella Maria Albers, baptized in the "Our Lady Queen of Angels" Catholic church in the Downtown Los Angeles area. She was born in Los Angeles, was the 2nd daughter of Susie Villa and Val Albers, both of Los Angeles. When Stella was a few years old her father disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. Through my research I have found his final resting place at the San Francisco National Cemetery.
Stella grew up as a one-parent child, at a time when Los Angeles was going though a very tough time financially. Since her mother had to work to support the family, Stella and her sister, Lillian, were placed in live-in day schools. The first one that I know of was Pearl Buck's school and the second one I know of was the St. Vincent De Paul School, both in Los Angeles.
Since Stella was, in essence, a fatherless child, she fell in love at a very young age to the first man that was kind to her, a Mr. Lewis Gambina, also of Los Angeles, and a cousin to the famous Fight Promoter, Ralph Gambina. The two of them were married and they tried to make a family, but Stella lost 2 or 3 babies through miscarriage. Lewis was sent to war and was deployed to Italy where he met a young Italian woman and got her pregnant. When Lewis told Stella about this, Stella immediately asked for divorce, which was never accepted by Lewis nor the Catholic Church where they were first married, but Lewis did consent.
Stella went on to join the war effort by working in defense plants. At one time she was one of the workers that had invented the first coating used to line the inside of airplane fuel tanks, that made them self sealing, if a bullet would pierce through. The product was called "Boomah".
During the Great Depression years, following the Stock Market Crash of 1929, she roomed with 2 of her cousins and a co-worker by the name of Mabel Florence.
During these years she would take the "Red Car" from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach to enjoy Ball Room Dancing. That is where she met my father, William M. Gray of Gardena, CA. This evening William asked her to dance and she accepted, and later that evening he proposed to her and she again accepted. They were soon married.
Some time in the 1940's Stella and William worked together at Decca Records, in Los Angeles. He pressed records and she Inspected them.
As the 1950's rolled around Stella and William rented a tiny barber shop in Redondo Beach to use as their "home" as William had landed a job with the Southern California Water Service, in Redondo Beach, CA. Soon after, they were able to put a down payment on their first house which was located at 828 N. Lucia Ave. in Redondo Beach.
Stella and William took in several foster children and Stella was a stay at home mother for them, until my brother and I came along. The two of us were adopted and she was now Mama.
Sometime in the late 1970's Stella opened up an antique doll shop in Redondo Beach called "Stella's Antiques and Collectibles". Through this business she was able to purchase 2 automobiles, and financed William's bi-monthly trips to Las Vegas.
When William passed away of renal failure, Stella was heart broken. You could see her working in her garden with her head hanging so pitifully.
Shortly afterwards she sold the house in Redondo Beach and bought a mobile home to live in that was located in a mobile home park in Torrance Ca.
This is where Stella A. Gray succumbed to breast cancer. She went home to be with the Lord on Dec. 23rd of 1995.
Stella Gray was and always will be the "Queen of my Heart"
I miss you Mama.


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  • Created by: Big Mike
  • Added: 10 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32105131
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Stella Maria Albers Gambina/Gray (18 Oct 1908–23 Dec 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32105131, citing Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Big Mike (contributor 47078060) .