Carolyn Desens Gray

Carolyn Desens Gray

Carolyn Desens Gray, loving mother of five children and a dear friend to many, passed away on April 14, 2020.  

As she would often say with a big smile on her face, she was 96-years young!  Born on Nov. 3, 1923 in Oswego, New York, to George and Carolyn (Alton) Desens, Carol graduated from Oswego High School and attended Oswego State Teachers College for a year, before joining the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps to serve her country honorably during World War II from 1944 to 1946.   In addition to her children, Carol was most proud of her military service.

Carol was an unapologetic romantic, believing that love conquers all.  After the war, she met the love of her life, Willard Richards Gray of Parish, New York.  They married in 1953 and five children followed.  After Willard’s unexpected passing in 1967, Carol was blessed with a 38-year loving relationship with Homer T. Jennings of Fulton, New York.

Carol was a devoted friend to many, loved to entertain, was an exceptional cook, and enjoyed traveling to the Adirondacks in the summer and Florida in the winter.  Carol was also an eternal optimist.  Her favorite movie was My Fair Lady, to which she dragged her family and friends on multiple occasions.  Carol’s life was somewhat like that of Elisa Doolittle’s.  Carol came from a humble but proud background, often sharing that her family “moved from pillar to post” during the Great Depression.  But she never lost hope that better times were ahead.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her beloved sister, Geraldine B. Rossiter, and companion, Homer Jennings.  She is survived by her children, Leslie Gray, Gloria Bayne, Melanie Gray, Diane Colonna, and Belle Gray, her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, and her sisters, Dorothea R. Fournier and Kathryn E. Ritzen.  

Carol will be remembered for her lust for life and will be missed by all who knew and loved her.  Carol’s family would like to especially thank the dedicated staff at the Good Shepherd at Endwell who lovingly cared for her in her final years.

A celebration of Carol’s life will be scheduled at a later time.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your place of worship or favorite charity in her honor. Arrangements are in care of the Harter Funeral Home, Inc. 2983 W. Main Street, Parish, NY.

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