Ann A. DeGray

DeGray, Ann A.

Apr 29, 1934 – Feb. 22, 2018

Preceded in death by husband and the love of her life, Oliver DeGray, and daughter, Elizabeth Goodwillie.  Survived by sons: Michael Goodwillie (Cheryl), Steven Goodwillie, and Scott DeGray; granddaughters, Claire and Lauren Goodwillie; brother, William Allard.

Outgoing, quick and thoughtful, she made people smile whenever they encountered her. It was never boring when she was around. She loved people, and, whether it was singing for many people in an audience or quietly helping a hurting friend, she enriched people’s lives.

She was a wife, a mother, and a homemaker and still found time to sing and perform in musical theatre productions. When living in New Jersey, she did leading roles in “Oklahoma,” “The Music Man,” and “Guys and Dolls.” In Omaha, she performed in productions at the Omaha Playhouse, winning the Fonda-McGuire Award for Best Actress for her work in “A Little Night Music.” Whether it was singing in the church choir or singing with a cast of people in a musical production, music, and the connection that music creates with other people, was always important to her, and it never got old.

Her parents instilled in her the idea of “giving back,” whether it was in terms of time, talent, or care. She enjoyed doing volunteer work and giving to the Open Door Mission. In her later years, she and Ollie DeGray, her husband, loved going to help at the St. Luke’s Teen Center, a place where at-risk high school students can go after school and have a safe environment in which to complete homework. Those visits were the highlight of their week, and she would light up when she told of the great time that she had with those young people.

She will be greatly missed by the people that she has touched. Her stories and her fun and her laughter will form happy memories for a long, long time.

SERVICES:  Saturday, March 17th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 11810 Burke St.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Luke Teen Center.



  • Carol Bratt Posted March 13, 2018 9:41 am

    Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Ann, I corresponded with her in a knitting forum (knitting Paradise) and that is where I learned of the memorial she had set up for her husband. I had asked her where I could send a contribution and she was so flustered and didn’t want me to think that she was asking for anything. I assured her that I thought it was well worthwhile and send my donation. She sent me a letter telling me all about the children they helped. Ann just struck a cord with me – she was such a lovely person. She will be sorely missed. My condolences to her family. I pray she is at peace.

  • Judy Hayden Posted March 18, 2018 4:43 pm

    I am sad to learn of Ann’s passing, however I take solace in knowing she is reunited with her much beloved husband Ollie. I knew Ann through the Knitting Paradise forum. I purchased yarn from her and found her to be such a warm and delightful lady. I send my deepest condolences to Ann’s family. You were blessed to have had Ann in your life. May she now sing and dance in Heaven!

  • Linda Posted April 3, 2018 1:24 pm

    My deepest sympathy to all who knew and loved Ann. She was a lovely lady, who always had kind words for me when we spoke on Knitting Paradise, and for all those she interacted with there as well. Ann would always bring a smile to my face, and I will miss her so much. She and Ollie are reunited once again, and that brings comfort. Rest peacefully, beautiful lady.

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