Born November 24, 1935 in Meeker, Oklahoma, Anna Mae was the daughter of Frank and Nettie Kathryn (Miller) Gray. Anna Mae's early childhood would be spent in the Meeker and Chandler communities before the family made Bixby their home. In Bixby, she would attend and graduate from high school, following which, she would meet and marry William "Bill" Byrum, a sailor in the U.S. Navy. Their life together would consist of several moves, with the Navy, allowing them to see much of the world. They would also begin a family of their own welcoming two daughters: Kathy and Carol. Eventually, the family would return to the Tulsa area to make their home. Sadly, Bill would pass away in 1979.
While in Tulsa, Anna Mae found employment with Oklahoma Natural Gas where she worked as an account clerk. She would retire from this endeavor after many years of faithful service.
When not at work, Anna Mae could be found out shopping for her grandchildren or for fabric. With that fabric, she would spend countless hours quilting for her family and friends. In fact, there are numerous recipients of her handwork who will feel her love for years to come when they are wrapped up in one of her beautiful creations.
Anna Mae was able to find love again when she married James "Jim" White. Upon his passing, she would marry Robert "Bob" Townes. Many wonderful memories were made with these great men and she always welcomed and accepted their families as her own.
Showing her love and support through her attendance, Anna Mae, also known as "Grandma" or "Gigi" was one who loved to make any and all of the activities that her grandchildren or great-grandchildren participated in. She also loved weekly lunches with her friends and being pampered through regular manicures/pedicures. Able to travel extensively, on the back of a Gold Wing motorcycle, Anna Mae was able to see much of the U.S. this way and always had a story to tell about her adventures.
Also, a stylish woman, Anna Mae was one to ensure that her clothing and accessories were just right - from her hats to her high heels and jewelry. She has been described as: nurturing, generous, loving, caring, funny, and a little sassy. The one thing that remained true for Anna Mae was, she was always there for her family and friends. Those who were close to her will long remember how she would always say, "Love you all", always wanted to know how the 'kids' were doing and was always a woman of faith.
A fan of OU sports, the Oklahoma City Thunder, old-time country music, and a good cup of coffee, Anna Mae had a love for life and was a joy to be around. In fact, the holidays never be the same in the absence of Anna Mae, including: her homemade pies and Christmas candy.
Anna Mae passed away on Monday, August 5, 2019 in Tulsa. She was 83.
She was preceded in death by: her parents, Frank and Nettie Gray; daughter, Kathy Smelcer; her husbands: Bill Byrum, Jim White and Bob Townes.
She is survived by: sister, Glenda Helm and husband, Bob; brother, James Gray and wife, Rosemary; sister-in-law, Bonnie Bushlack; daughter, Carol Brassfield and husband, David; son-in-law, Arnold Smelcer; step-children: Sharon Townes, Pat Skocdopole and husband, Finley, Pam Battenfield and husband, Gary; Ronnie White and wife, Toni; grandchildren: Tiffany Jones and husband, Michael; Tyler Brassfield and wife, Candace; Amber Holman and husband, Joshua; Allie Landrum and husband, Brent; great-grandchildren: Ryan, Brayden, Cicely, Sophie, Gunner, and Brooklyn.
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