Surrounded by family, Sarah Jane McCray died on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at her home in Taylor, Arizona. She was 81 years old. Sally, as she was known, was born on Sunday, July 28, 1940, in Snowflake, Arizona to her parents, the late Rial Owen and Faun (Standifird) Freeman.
"Having been born of goodly parents," Sally experienced a wonderful and beautiful childhood. She was thankful to her parents for the many values and life lessons they taught her while she was yet a child and young woman. Many of those lessons and values have been instilled, not only into her own children but, into her grandchildren as well.
Sally was a member of Snowflake High School's Class of 1958. Within the year following her high school graduation, Sally's life forever changed at the age of 19, when she met a nice young man who just so happened to be a good friend of her brothers. His name was Terrance R. "Terry" McCray. This young man owned a pink Harley Davidson motorcycle. She was immediately smitten by his willingness to ride a pink bike and, he was just plain twitter pated by her beauty, as she truly was quite the looker! On December 5, 1959, the couple tied the knot and were married at her mother's home in Snowflake. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Mesa Arizona Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sally and Terry most recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary together.
Throughout most of their marriage, Sally worked alongside her husband as his secretary and as his "righthand man" for his business, "A to Z Drilling." Sally also was an incredible homemaker whose priority was always the wellbeing of her husband, children and grandchildren. She loved them all more than they could comprehend. She taught them all how to live by the 'Golden Rule' and the importance of treating others with kindness. Her example was her greatest teaching tool and it was key in molding them to be the wonderful, kind, responsible people whom they've become and will yet become. It has been said of her that, "She was a great seamstress" and that she had made countless outfits and other pieces of clothing for her small army of children.
Sally LOVED to decorate for any occasion but, Christmas was her absolute favorite. She had an incredible collection of decorations which included just about any Christmas decoration ever invented. Her place was always a great show place during any holiday! Sally was always supportive of her family: her husband, kids and grandkids. She rarely, if ever, missed any one of their school projects, whether it be a school play, concert or sporting event. She loved being "that kind" of mother and grandmother to her family. She loved them all so very much and they, in turn, loved her back. Hers was a familiar and friendly face at just about every homecoming event since her own high school days. She was a loyal and devoted Lobo fan.
Sally was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities throughout her life; as a Primary teacher, in the Young Women's organization of the Church as well as a leader at Girls Camp. Sally possessed a deep and abiding profound faith and unwavering testimony of the Savior, Jesus Christ. She was the rock of her family. Sally's children credit her faithfulness through her own actions of doing good works for others in helping them build and strengthen their own testimonies of the Lord's restored gospel. Daily, she lived her faith and her life was the greatest example for anyone to emulate.
On April 23, 2022, there was a family reunion at the Church and it was the great desire of her heart to be able to attend it. She was able go and was able to say good-bye to her family, both immediate and extended, and she heard how much she was loved by them, and she was able to tell each one "how much she loved them." It completed her life. She was so happy she was able to go and didn't know that just a few short hours later, she would pass from this mortal life to the next at 11:55 P.M. Truly a tender mercy was beheld by all whom went and participated in that sacred family reunion.
Sally's family consists of: her husband, Terry McCray of Taylor, AZ; children: Ray (Julie) McCray of Snowflake, AZ, Loretta (deceased in 1988) and her husband, Allyn Lynn (Lorri) of Wittmann, AZ, Dennise (Dean, deceased in 2007) Morris of Springerville, AZ, Gary (Tiffany) McCray of Snowflake, AZ, Eufaun (Dayton) Flake of Joseph City, AZ, Mary McCray of Snowflake, AZ, Jay Dee McCray of Taylor, AZ; 29 grandchildren and 48 great-grandchildren. Sally is also survived by her sister, Marilyn (Darold) Clonts of Taylor, AZ and by her brother, Stan (Barbara) Freeman of Kettle Fall, WA and Winslow, AZ. Along with her parents, Sally was preceded in death by her siblings: Shirley Faun Montierth, Jeannine (Delbert) Whitmer, George (Julia) Freeman, Dixie (Chuck) Dana and Aquilla Freeman.
The public viewing will be 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Friday, April 29, 2022, at Owens Livingston Mortuary, 84 E. 19th South in Snowflake, Arizona. The funeral will begin 11:00 A.M., Saturday, April 30, 2022, at the Silver Creek Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 300 W. Willow Lane in Taylor, Arizona where additional viewing will begin one hour prior. The interment will immediately follow at the Reed Hatch Memorial Cemetery in Taylor.
The McCray family is thankful to their community of friends for the sweet expressions of sympathy they have received during this difficult season and are grateful for the many prayers offered up on their behalf.