Florence Pearl Viles Wray



Florence Pearl Viles Wray, 92, passed away Thursday, March 31, 2016, at her residence at Greenwood Village South.

Born Aug. 24, 1923 in Champaign, Illinois, she was the daughter of William Everett “Pop” and Cecilia Jeanette Thomas Viles. She married Pierre Edward Wray in Richmond on Sept. 30, 1944. They were married for 56 years, until his death in 2000.

Florence was employed by A.C. Nielsen Corp., a market research and analysis firm, as a proofreader and then a commercial artist, retiring in 1985. She was an accomplished artist who worked in many mediums — oil, acrylics, pastels and silks. She painted most of her life.

As her family moved from Indiana to California and North Carolina and finally back to Indiana, she was actively involved in art centers at each location. When she returned to Indiana after her husband’s death, she joined the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour. There she participated in the Wednesday group, instructed classes in silk and other methods and mediums of painting, and the center is where she had many lovely examples of her art on display. Her paintings are in private collections throughout the United States.

Survivors include her daughter, Priscilla G. (Homer) Mullins of Macon, Georgia; stepson, Duane P. Wray of Sun City, Arizona; and stepdaughter, Gloria R. Wagner of Evansville; eight grandchildren, Anne Messersmith Brown, Jason Messersmith, Kelly Frank Green, Joseph W. Frank Jr., Dianne Martin, Lawrence Wray, Andrea Woolridge and Christopher Wagner; 14 great-grandchildren, Emma, Robert and Henry Brown, Riley and Joseph Frank III, Gracen and Avery Green, Brittany and Cameron Martin, Maighread and Maeve Wray, Joseph, Elijah, and Zachary Woolridge; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Robert, Roy and Glenn Viles; and three sisters, Roberta Hartwell, Helen Green and Gladys Patton; father-in-law, James Washington Wray; and mother-in-law, Hattie Marie Geers.

Florence will be laid to rest beside her husband in Abington Cemetery in Abington. A memorial service will be at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts at [email protected] or by calling 812-522-2278.

Jessen Funeral Home, Whiteland Chapel, handled the arrangements.

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