Lee Gray honored at special ceremony for her life of service

 She has been called the Hamersville School Historian because of her extensive knowledge of the Hamersville community and its residents. Leola “Lee” M. Gray has lived her entire life in the Village of Hamersville and on Sunday, May 7, 2017, her friends honored her at a special ceremony, recognizing everything she has done for her community.
Led by Gray’s friend, State Representative Doug Green, the event was held at the Hamersville Church of Christ where people from all over the county were there to honor her.
“I would first like to say how proud and grateful I am to be a part of this program today,” Green began, “It is such a joy to do this. Through the years I’ve come to know this woman, and I’ve come to love what she has meant to so many.”
Among the many things Lee Gray was recognized these are just a few:
• Member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 85 years;
• Member of the American Legion for 28 years;
• Served in the United States Coast Guard for two years during World War II;
• Member of the Hamersville School Alumni Association for 76 years, serving as secretary for over 30 years;
• Secretary for the Hamersville School for 48 years;
• Athletic director for the school for 18 years;
• Served as a 4-H Adviser in Hamersville for the ‘Clark Busy Bees’;
• One of the founding members of the Hamersville-Clark Township Life Squad;
• Member of the Brown County General Hospital Auxiliary for many years;
• Served as a member of the Hamersville Junior Women’s Club;
• Member of the Hamersville Church of Christ for 85 years;
• Served her community , country and God in countless other ways over the past 93 years of living in Hamersville.
One by one Green invited up to the microphone to tell their personal stories and memories about how they knew the 93 year old Gray.
The first to speak on behalf of Gray was Judy Martin, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, who first stated that she was honored to give tribute to Ms. Gray. She commented that Gray had been an auxiliary member since 1932. She referred to Gray as God fearing woman and a true defender of others.
An emotional letter from Gray’s long-time friend Peggy McKinney was read aloud by Sue Purtell, which talked about her friendship with Gray.
Diane Lawrence with Troop Box Ministries presented Gray with a plaque of appreciation for all her hours volunteers at Troop Box as well as a bouquet of roses.
The Hamersville Church of Christ’s minister, Troy Braunstein also spoke briefly about Gray.
“We had to wait till everything was ready to go before we could tell Lee about this day in her honor,” Braunstein said. “She is a very humble woman and didn’t feel like she had done anything to deserve this day.
“I have known Lee all my life, but have been her minister here for the past seven years. One of the things I know about Lee is that she is a servant who deeply cares about other people. She is and always has been an encourager.”
Finally, Ms. Gray was asked if she had anything she would like to say.
“I feel like you’re all talking about someone else,” Gray said with a chuckle, “I want to thank you all for coming today, this is a wonderful thing you’ve all done for me.
“When I look back at my life, I guess I was pretty busy. I still am busy, but I’ve always done the things I liked to do.”
Gray read a poem to the crowd which brought the guests to their feet with a huge applaud. The poem talked about being old and doing the things she wanted to do even in her later years.
Following the ceremony desserts and drinks were served in the back of the building.