Elizabeth C. Gray – Independence

Elizabeth Catt Gray passed away on April 28, 2018 in Markesan, Wisconsin.

She was born March 17, 1921, on her grandparent’s farm near Rowley, Iowa, the daughter of Jesse and Isabel McCormick Catt.  She attended country school at the Bethel School in the town of Doris, east of Independence.  She attended high school in Independence, graduating in 1939.  After earning her cosmetology degree she worked in Oelwein where she met and married George Klotzbach.  Mr. Klotzbach died in 1947.  She returned to live with her parents, on the family farm, east of Independence and worked at the telephone company.

 In 1949, Elizabeth married M. K. ‘Mel’ Gray.  They lived most of their married life in Independence where she operated a beauty shop adjacent to their home. She volunteered her time at the Buchanan County Home providing hair care to the residents.  She also worked at Asher’s/Watkin’s Drug store.  In 1975, the Grays moved to northern Minnesota where they owned and operated Weigelwood Resort.  They ran the family style resort for 8 years retiring to Brainerd, MN, to be close to her daughter, Martha, and her family.  In 1990, they returned to Independence, celebrating their 50th anniversary in 1999, shortly before Mr. Gray’s death.

Elizabeth was active in the Rebekah Lodge, Eastern Star, Girl Scouts, Meals on Wheels and various church activities.  In 2004, she introduced the Prayer Quilt Ministry to the First Presbyterian Church.  In September of 2009, Elizabeth moved to Markesan, Wisconsin, to be closer to her daughter, Miriam.

Being a wife and mother was the greatest joy of Elizabeth’s life.  She is survived by her daughters: Miriam (Kim) Ownby, Ripon, Wisconsin, and Marilyn (Dave) Timmons, San Diego, California.  Her grandchildren: Meredith Ownby, Robin (Mark) Wolzenburg, James (Michelle) Coventry, Jeff Coventry, Jason (Francine) Coventry, Sarah Timmons and Katie Timmons and 17 great-grandchildren. Also her sister, Marlene (Elmer) Hettinger, Independence; sisters-in-law, Anna Marie Catt of Independence and Peggy McBride of La Porte City; as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Klotzbach; her husband, Mel Gray; daughter, Martha Coventry and son-in-law  Paul Coventry; grandson, Jeremy Coventry; sisters, Oma Jean McBride and Margaret Lohman and  brothers, Charles and Claude Catt.

Elizabeth will always be remembered as a warm, loving person who cared for her family and friends with unconditional love. There will be a celebration of life for Elizabeth on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at the First Presbyterian Church in Independence.  Visitation will be at 10:00 am with the service at 11:00 am.  Inurnment will be in Wilson Cemetery.  A Memorial Fund has been established for Prayers and Squares Ministry at the First Presbyterian Church in Independence.