Gaynelle Carley Gray

Ms. Texas Senior America 1992


Gaynelle Carley Gray is a retired school teacher from Oklahoma.  She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cameron University, Lawton, OK and taught the Gifted and Talented students for 13 years in one of Lawton’s elementary schools.  She was widowed after being married 38 years to Dr. Otto Carley.  She was a member of the Lawton Junior League & the Kappa Kappa Iota Sorority.  Later she married Thomas Gray and after he retired from Petroleum Engineering they moved to Texas.

Gaynelle has one son, Dr. James Carley, Stillwater, OK, two daughters, Cathryn C. Franks, Four Star Ranch, Roosevelt, OK, and Caryn C. Maher, living in Katy, TX.  Gaynelle has 5 grandchildren, three have graduated from Oklahoma State University, and the younger 2 girls are in high school.  Her family likes to tell about the special dress she wore for her son’s wedding.  The next year she wore it to Cathy’s wedding and later wore it to Caryn’s.   When the oldest grandchild was planning her wedding, Gaynelle got another dress and wore it to each of their three weddings.  

Gaynelle won the 1992 Ms. Texas Senior America pageant held in Arlington, TX singing a Patsy Cline song.  The Ms. Senior America National Pageant was held two months later in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she won the evening gown award.   In addition to her late husband, her three children and their spouses, went to the national pageant.   A sister-in-law & her husband from North Carolina and her brother-in-law and his wife from New Jersey also came.  The family reunion was a big bonus.  Other highlights of Gaynelle’s life have been traveling to visit her daughter and family while they were stationed at several posts in the U.S., in Germany, and later in South Korea.  

Since winning the Ms. Texas Senior America pageant in 1992, there have been many places and occasions for her to represent senior ladies of Texas.  Gaynelle’s philosophy is, “The adversities that I have faced such as breast cancer and my only grandson being a paraplegic from an automobile accident, have taught me that prayer and faith could pull me through anything.  I find pleasure in working.  I believe it is never too late to accomplish our goals.”

Gaynelle volunteered six years at the Lake Vista Cancer Clinic in Lewisville.  She is an active member of the Lewisville Church of Christ, the Lewisville Area Republican Club, the Widowed Persons Service, and is secretary for the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant Board. 

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