Elizabeth Pearl Bray
Elizabeth Pearl Bray
  • September 22, 1939 - June 1, 2017
  • Alexandria, Virginia

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Elizabeth (Betty) P. Bray passed away in the afternoon of 1 June 2017 at the age of 77. She was born and raised in Duncan, Oklahoma with her parents Mary Lee Stephens, J. Gordon Stephens and two brothers Bill and J. Gordon Stephens.

She attended the local elementary school, middle school and high school. After high school graduation she attended the University of Oklahoma (OU) Boomer Sooner. She received her bachelors degree in Economics/Geography in 1961. Deciding to have four more years of pain at OU she received her Masters Degree in Economics/Geography in 1964. During this timeframe she met her husband 2LT (Army) William G. Bray, Jr. and married him on 8 August 1964 after the completion of her Master's Degree. The Oklahoma Historical Society published portions of her master thesis in 1978 and 1998 titled The Historical Geography of the Boundaries of Oklahoma.

During her time at OU Betty worked at the Ford Foundation Intern Program for the Oklahoma State Senate/House of Representatives and during Bill's duty station in Fort Carson, CO. she worked as a legal secretary. During her marriage she followed her husband to duty stations in Fort Carson, CO, Norman, OK where on 29 April 1969 their oldest son was born Jeffrey Paul Bray, Wurzburg, Germany, Fort Bragg, NC, Fort Lee, VA, Fort Hood, TX where their youngest daughter Courtney Leigh Bray was born on 8 October 1972, West Point, NY, Heidelberg, Germany and West Point, NY.

Throughout all the various duty stations she volunteered with numerous organizations to include the Army Community Service, Post Thrift Shop, Officer's Wives Club and a Waiting Wives Club and raising two children and one child who was particularly rambunctious.

Elizabeth started her civilian career in Heidelberg, Germany working as a teacher and counselor (1977-1984) for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS) at Heidelberg High School. During this timeframe throughout the summers Elizabeth, Bill, Jeff and Courtney camped and traveled throughout Europe and were dragged into every church and cathedral known to man as well as museums and battlefields. After spending 7 years in Germany, Bill PCS'd to West Point, NY where Elizabeth accepted a job at the United States Military Academy (USMA) in the admissions office from 1984 - 1988. In the summer of 1988 Bill retired from the Army as Lieutenant Colonel and the family moved to Northern Virginia in which she received an internship in Human Resources with the Department of the Army 1986-1987. She transferred to PERSCOM from 1988 - 1989. She started her position with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) in the spring of 1989 as a Human Resource Officer. Elizabeth worked her way up within CID and became Director of Civilian Personnel. She stayed in this position until her retirement in September 2011. At her retirement luncheon she received the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal and became an Honorary CID Special Agent. This award was the first of its kind for a civilian employee. Not only did she receive an agent badge from CID, she also received agent badges from two other Services - Department of the Air Force, Office of Special Investigation (AFOSI) and the Department of the Navy, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).

After her retirement she continued to donate time to the Ft. Belvoir Thrift Shop and traveled to the United Kingdom as well as trips within the United States to Hawaii and the Midwest.

She is survived by her husband Bill, children Jeff and Courtney, brothers Bill and J. Gordon Stephens and three grandchildren; twins Alex and Anna and Antonio.

Please do not buy flowers if you would like to donate please donate to The Alder Center (Capital Caring) in Aldie, VA. Please click on the link below: