Myrna died of cancer on August 19 as she hoped she would: at home, in her own bed, with all of her faculties and feistiness intact. She loved her family and friends, her dogs Annie and Ruby, her morning Salt Lake Tribune with coffee, and her nightly glass of Chardonnay.
Mom was born in Elko, Nevada on May 6, 1932 to Heber D. and Blanche S. Jones. She married Albert J. Gray in 1952 (later divorced). She is survived by her daughters Sherelynn Gray and Shauna Waters; son-in-law Rick Waters; grandchildren Nichole Free (James) and Brandon Waters; great-grandchildren Morgan Cowley and Michael Cowley (their father, Shaun); step-great-grandchildren Bethany, Ethan, and Kadee Free; sisters Marian Arthur and Marcia Swilor. She was preceded in death by her brother, H.D, her sister Melva Matley, and her son Michael Gray whose death in 1975 was the blow from which she never fully recovered.
After 38 years of service, Mom retired from Mountain Bell in 1987. She retired again in 1997 from the University of Utah’s Engineering Experiment Station. She started volunteer work at Cottonwood Hospital in 2001 and moved to IMC in 2007 where she spent the next 13 years doing the work she loved with friends she considered her second family.
Myrna was born in a depression and died during a pandemic. The first forged in her a lifelong commitment to hard work and a passion for doing her work well. The second robbed her of lunches, outings, and going to plays with friends. She felt that void.
We will always mourn the loss of this fiercely independent woman and will be grateful for her sacrifices and unconditional love. By example she instilled in her children an unwavering work ethic. Her values have inspired both her grandchildren and great grandchildren. We learned to be who we are by loving and admiring who she was.
A private graveside service for family will be held 10AM on Saturday, August 29, 2020 at Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery, 1950 E. Dimple Dell Road (10600 S.) in Sandy. Mom’s ashes will lie with her son. A celebration of this remarkable woman will come later when there will be no need to refrain from warm embraces.