Gray, Fannie Belle Batchelor

Fannie Belle Batchelor Gray was born in Rankin, Oklahoma on September 25, 1923 and passed from this life on the morning of October 03, 2011 in Escondido, California, surrounded by her loving family. A Memorial Service will be at 11:00 AM Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in Sayre, Oklahoma. All friends and family are welcome.
Fannie was the first-born child of Willie Ann Bowman Batchelor, a homemaker, and William Henry Batchelor, a former Sheriff of Roger Mills County. As a child, she attended Meadowbrook School and later in Reydon, Oklahoma. In 1937, in the midst of the dust storms of the Great Depression, the Batchelor’s sold their farm and joined the Westward migration to California. The trip was filled with trials and hardships. They stayed with relatives who could offer work in their fields; Fannie told stories of she and her brothers working alongside their Dad. However, a year and a half later, the Batchdelors made their way back home to Reydon, Oklahoma and Fannie finished her last years of high school at Reydon High. Fannier enjoyed participating in school activities and was a Baton Twirler in the school band. A fellow classmate at Reydon High was Harold I. Gray, whom she would eventually marry.
When World War II broke out Fannie’s brothers and Harold joined the military and were deployed overseas. Fannie took a job at Boeing Aircraft in Wichita, Kansas; doing her part to help the American war effort by becoming a “Rosie the Riveter,” which became an American icon. Following the War, Fannie and Harold came home to Reydon and married on June 03, 1946. They made their home in Oklahoma City. A son, Kenneth, was born in Sayre and a daughter, Cathy, was born in Oklahoma City. They moved from Western Oklahoma in 1967 to California where Haold obtained his teaching credential from UCLA and taught tecnic al courses until they retired in 1988 to Sayrre, Oklahoma.
In 1972, Fannie was diagnosed with breasr cancer and with bone cancer 3 years later. That she survived for another 40 years is a teatament to her amazing courage, strength and her faith in God. Fannie was an artist in textiles, she created beautiful clothes for her family, she loved flowers and keeping her home, but her family was the most important thing in her life. She will be dearly missed.
Fannie was preceded in death by her husband, Harold, her parents and brother Lonniee I. Batchelor of Sayre and Charles B. Batchelor of Cheyenne. She is survived by her son Kenneth Dale Gray of Sayre, daughter, Cathy J. Gray, and son-in-law, John B. Jones of Excondido, California. Two grandchildren, John G. Dickason and Patti of Garden Grove, CA and Jessica L. Vuncannon of Winston-Salem, NC. Three great-grandchioldren, Maegan, Zachary and Abigail Dickason. Her sister, Roberta Barchelor Bonds of Sayre, sisters-in-law Mrs. Cahrles (Doris) Batchelor of Cheyenne and Mrs. Lonnie (Linda) Batchelor of Sayre, as well as many deeply cared for nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Cheyenne Star, Cheyenne, OK 17NOV2011