Commonwealth Journal

September 5, 2013

Obituaries for Friday, Sept. 6, 2013

Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Bobby Bray

Mr. Bobby Bray, 76, of Somerset, Ky., son of the late Obie Oral and Dessie Woodall Bray was born on April 25, 1937 in Somerset, Ky., and departed this life on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at Somerset Nursing & Rehab.

Other than his parents, Bobby was preceded in death by one brother, Bernard Bray and two sisters, Wanda Bray and Brenda Carol Inabnitt.

Bobby is survived by two sons, Michael Bray (and Melinda) Bray and Marvin Bray; the following brothers and sisters, Berl Bray, David Bray, Debbie (and Alan) Mayfield, Beulah Sanders, Betty Williamson, Berna Dean (and Rothel) Bray, Berta Jalene (and Jerry) Price, Bonnie Lovins, Ray (and Christi) Bray and Roy (and Amanda) Bray. Bobby also leaves behind three grandchildren, Natasha, Sarah, and Dylan Bray.

Bobby was a member of the Bethany Baptist Church and worked as a farmer.

A memorial service will be held today at 12 noon in the chapel of Pulaski Funeral Home.  

Burial will follow in the Whitaker Cemetery.

The family of Mr. Bobby Bray will receive friends today after 10 a.m. until time for service at Pulaski Funeral Home.

Pulaski Funeral Home is honored to be in charge off all arrangements for Mr. Bobby Bray.

Edith Stringer

Edith Elizabeth Hein Stringer was born December 19, 1912 in West Pittstown, Penn. She was the eldest of four children of John Johannes Hein and his wife Elizabeth Boam Coffee.

After graduating from West Pittstown High School in 1931, she borrowed  money to finance her education in a business college. After receiving   her degree, she applied for a position with the government, but had no luck. Her first job was as a bank clerk, with a salary of $50 per month for 5 1/2 hours per day. While working at the bank she was still interested in working for the government. The opportunity presented itself two years later after she began at the bank with the Farm Credit Administration in Washington D.C. The job paid $1,440 per year,  "which was fabulous!" She then began her 31-year stint as an employee at the Pentagon after the Farm Credit Administration moved some of its  operations to the Midwest. She states that at that time in 1941, it was not socially acceptable for a woman to hold a position such as she did. "Men did not want to read papers I had written and so forth,knowing that I was a woman, so I began using my initials as my signature." The low percentage of female employees at the Pentagon led to blatant discrimination. She did staff work in intelligence and other various branches and ended up in research and development.

After taking her job at the Pentagon, Edith met her late husband Plano Stringer, a native of Somerset, Ky., a mechanic at a Chevrolet dealership in Washington D.C. The two met thru a mutual friend which  

led to what Edith described as "interest at first sight." Edith and Plano had been dating for several months when Plano received notice that he had been drafted. "They were only supposed to go 100 miles away from the area, so that was OK, it was only for a year. The next thing I knew, he was in El Paso, Texas."

Edith took a two-week vacation and she and a friend hitched a ride to Texas to see Plano. "When we got there, I asked him what are we doing tomorrow?" Plano said, ‘I am going to a wedding.' Edith asked whose wedding and he said, “Ours!" Edith does not remember answering his  proposal with a “yes” or “no” but they were married on June 17, 1941 in Los Cruces, NM, before she returned back to Washington D.C.  

Mr. and Mrs. John J. Hein of 120 Parke St. announced the marriage of their daughter Edith Elizabeth of Washington D.C. to Plano Stringer, also of Washington D.C., the son of Mrs. Lida Stringer of Somerset, Ky. The ceremony was performed on June 17, 1941 in New Mexico by Reverend Julian Solas.  Mr. and Mrs. Russell Hoffman of Washington D.C. were the attendants. The bride is a respected young woman with many friends in this community. She is a graduate of West Pittston High School and Scranton-Lackawanna College. She is employed with the Federal Government at the Capital. Her husband was educated in Kentucky and was stationed with the 206th Coast Artillery at Fort Bliss, Texas.

When Edith left Texas, she had no way of knowing that the United States was as close to being propelled into World War II and that she would not be seeing her new husband again for a long time. "It was three years before I saw him again," said Edith. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, he was shipped to Iceland. While she and her husband were apart, she collected $50 per month as the wife of a U.S. Army member. By the time he returned home, she had saved $4,000 toward the purchase of their first home. She had also been caring for her parents and nephew Gerald "Rusty" Butler.

When Plano returned home, he started a construction business. The couple retired many years later back to Somerset to fulfill Plano's boyhood dream. The Stringers purchased the Smith Home, a turn of the century antebellum mansion located on College Street in downtown Somerset in 1984. Plano thought if he could ever have had that house, it would be the nearest thing to heaven. Edith and Plano renovated and furnished the home with antiques they collected together. Edith loved to collect tureens and had over 200 of them. She also loved to collect dolls, she had an entire room devoted to her dolls. After the work was done on their home the couple made it available to the community for wedding receptions, bridal and baby showers, Garden club and Church and other social events.

Edith and Plano were celebrating their 50th year of marriage when Plano became ill and succumbed after a battle with cancer on June 1, 1995. After the death of her husband, Edith decided to move to The Neighborhood, an assisted living community where she remained active in a number of community groups in Somerset and actively welcomed newcomers to the Neighborhood. Edith celebrated her 100th birthday and welcomed family and friend and acquaintances who stopped by to reminisce and to join with her with a reception at The Neighborhood on December 19, 2012.

Edith passed away quietly in her sleep on September 3, 2013 at The Neighborhood. She was preceded in death by her husband Plano Stringer; her parents John Johannes and Elizabeth Boam Coffey Hein; one sister, Lucille Hein Butler Smoot; two brothers John Hein and Glenn Hein; and one great-nephew, John Butler.  

She is survived by four nieces, Mary Hein Porter (and Hap), Pat Hein Beam, Priscilla (and Bob) Krueger, and Sandy Hein, and three nephews, Gerald (and Becky) Butler, Glenn Jr. (and Sharon) Hein and John Jr. Hein; nine great-nieces and nephews and nine great-great-nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be on Sunday, September 8 from 2-5 p.m. at Somerset Undertaking Co., and at First Presbyterian Church on Monday, September 9 at 10 a.m. until the time of service.

The funeral will be Monday, September 9 at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Somerset with Rev. Alan  Brimer & Rev. Jack Wilhelm and Edith's Nephew Rev. Gerald "Rusty" Butler officiating.

Interment will follow at Lakeside Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Hospice or First Presbyterian Church of Somerset.