Eula Mae (Henson) Gray Bright, 85, of Edwardsville, formerly of Odin passed away Thursday, March 31, 2022, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville. She was born on January 12, 1937, the daughter of Verlie Edward and Florence Edith (Middleton) Henson in Iuka. She married the love of her life Samuel Gray Jr. in Marion County, and 2 children were born of this union. He preceded her in death in June of 1986. She found love again when she married, Dean Bright on April 11, 1987, in Chicago and he preceded her in death on September 27, 2011.
Survivors that will remember Eula’s sweet smile include her daughters Ronda (Steve) Dempsey of Edwardsville, and Kathy Watson of Odin; grandchildren Bryan, Tyler and Jeremy Dempsey, Joshua (Garrett) Watson, James (Emily) Watson; great-grandchildren Kylie, Kaiden, Addelyn, Jaclyn, Emmalyn; brother James V. (Sandy) Henson of Centralia; and several nieces and nephews.
Along with her husband Samuel Gray Jr. and her husband Dean Bright, Eula was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Edna, Dorothy, Violet, and Mary; and brothers Clarence, Carl, and Donnie.
Eula loved her hometown of Odin where she grew up, attended school, and appreciated the support of her community. She was a proud, supportive, military wife to her husband Sam. They shared many adventures during his time in the military. She was a wonderful mother, raising her children in Edwardsville. She was active in her children’s school, working as a librarian there and known by all the children, including her own as Mrs. Gray. She was a member of the PTA and was grateful to be a Girl Scout leader for her daughter’s girl scout troop. Eula was a member of the Alma Christian Church. She was a member of the Eastern Star of Salem and Loyal Order of Moose in Centralia. Eula was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Ruby Rebekah Lodge in Edwardsville. She was somewhat of a social butterfly, never meeting a stranger, and sharing her friendly smile with everyone she met. Eula was an amazing cook, a gracious host to family, neighbors, and friends, and no one went hungry around her table, especially when her blackberry dumplings were on the menu. She enjoyed time spent in the great outdoors, camping and fishing. Eula had a green thumb and grew the most beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, sharing the bounty and beauty from her gardens with grateful family and friends. Eula loved Elvis Presley’s music and may have been his biggest fan. She was an admirer of the game of baseball, making sure to listen to her St. Louis Cardinals on the radio. Eula liked to try out her luck on the gambling boat and felt she had extra luck when her grandsons were along. Eula will be deeply missed but never forgotten as her life left a huge impact on everyone that knew her.
A celebration of life service will be held at 12:00 p.m. Thursday, April 7, 2022, at the Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Odin with Minister Randy VanAusdall officiating. Interment will follow at Martin Cemetery in Alma. Friends are welcome to a visitation time from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made in Eula’s honor to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and will be accepted for the family at the funeral home. Online condolences and memories of Eula may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.
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