geraldine "jerry" (smitherman) wray 

Shreveport, LA - Geraldine (Jerry) Smitherman Wray passed away peacefully on May 29, 2018, in her home at the age of 92. A visitation will be held at Rose-Neath Funeral Home on Marshall Street in Shreveport, LA, on Friday, June 1, 2018, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 275 Southfield Road in Shreveport. A reception will follow in the Parlor.

Jerry was preceded in death by her parents, Mary Virginia Hoss Smitherman and David Ewart Smitherman, her sister Nancy Smitherman, and her beloved husband of 61 years, George Downing Wray, Jr. (d. 2008).

She is survived by her four children, Mary Virginia Wray Hill (spouse Kevin), Deanie Wray Galloway, George Downing Wray III (Allison), and Nancy Wray Armistead (Charles); grandchildren Sarah Brandon Colmark (Charles), David Galloway (Julianna), Christine Wray Moody (Robbie), Kathryn Galloway Jordan (Jeffrey), Matthew Wray, William Wray, Rachel Hill McNerney (Ian), Chase Armistead (Kayla), Chris Armistead (Kaelyn), Grace Armistead, and John Armistead; eight great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and her devoted dog, Darlin', her stalwart protector.

The family thanks Jerry's dedicated caregivers, including Shirley Carrier, Betty White, Doris Shine, Johnetta Johnson, and the late R. L. Robinson; as well as Dr. Alan Borne, Louisiana Healthcare, and Regional Hospice; with special gratitude to Jerry's close friend and assistant of 35 years, Mary Jackson.

Jerry was born in Shreveport. She attended South Highlands Elementary, graduated from C.E. Byrd High School, and earned her B.F.A. degree with honors from Newcomb College in New Orleans in 1946. Her artistic talent was evident early in her career. Her senior college project was displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon graduation, she returned home and soon met and married the love of her life in 1947, returning soldier George Wray, Jr.

Throughout her long career as an artist, she was known for having an outstanding sense of color and a gift for teaching art in an encouraging manner. Working in mixed media and abstract symbolism, her varies series included "Praise," "Altar," "Inside Looking Out," and many others.

Jerry was an arts advocate in the Shreveport-Bossier community, supporting many local organizations and artists, including the Shreveport Art Guild, The LA State Exhibit Museum, Hoover Watercolor Society, and the Algur Meadows Museum of Art, the Shreveport Regional Arts Council and Artport. Nationally, she was a signature member of the American Watercolor Society and the International Society of Experimental Artists and Christians in Visual Arts. Her work was exhibited in many galleries and shows from New York to Miami to California.

She often drew inspiration from her summers spent painting at Lake Bistineau, and from her daily devotional practice. She also gleaned inspiration from self-help books and romance novels. The fellowship of her weekly art groups that gathered in her studio, the Tuesday Spiritual Group, and Daughters of the King Chapter at St. Paul's Episcopal Church were of utmost importance to her.

A charter member of Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club, Jerry was an avid player. She was ranked #1 in the south several times and 13th in the nation in the 45 and 55 singles division. When she was forced to stop playing for health reasons in 2013, her devoted tennis group continued their sisterhood.

Donations may be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church or the charity of your choice.
Published in Shreveport Times from May 31 to June 2, 2018