September 17, 1924 – November 12, 2017
Nettie LaVonne (Grandma) Spray was born Sept. 17, 1924 in East St. Louis, Ill. to James and Goldie Rogers as their only child. She peacefully passed from time to eternity on Nov. 12, 2017 at age 93 from a brain tumor. She received wonderful care by Hospice, Sand Ridge Home Care and Monroe House.
She loved the steady stream of visitors that enjoyed her stories: her mother traveling by covered wagon; her dad winning the mule driving contest in France while in the Army in World War I; growing up in the Depression; getting up at 4 a.m. to travel from Missouri to Tennessee in the Model T to visit family where they went to the coop and caught a chicken to fix for dinner; her dad with a third-grade education learning to build houses, and building a mail-order Sears home in the 1930s; sliced bread for five cents a loaf; her dad drying out his long underwear on the oil stove each night when working on the railroad in the winter; watching her mother make rag rugs on her loom and taking in sewing; her mother wanting to throttle her when Grandma complained that her slips would stand out more if her mother ironed them on both sides; Uncle Fred shot and killed in the dance hall; and wondering how her mother knew she and Violet smoked a cigarette until her mother said she saw them standing under the street lamp.
Grandma enjoyed traveling all her life. When she first heard the call to “go west!” she struck out for California, much to her parents’ dismay, in her early 20s. There she met Claude Spray (now deceased) at the boarding house following his World War II service in the Navy. They were married in 1948, and leave two daughters Linda Brumet (Jerry, deceased), and Cynthia Alporque (Davie), two granddaughters Tiana Alporque-Los (Robert), Amy Alporque-Thompson (Brendan), great-grandson, Kaikane Thompson and great-granddaughter, Kekona Thompson. Her greatest joy was to see their much-loved smiling faces when they came to visit. She treasured the Hawaiian hospitality found with Davie’s family, and looked forward to picking up more shells and washed glass on the beach to add to her overflowing collection. She traveled the world, including all 50 states, acquiring unique collectibles.
She joined the Moses Lake Garden Club when she moved here in 1955, and made lifelong friendships. Her home, until she moved to assisted living, bloomed with many of her favorite flowers. This included the transplanted rose bush her mother raised from a stolen branch from the early 1900s. Besides gardening she crocheted, did ceramics, refinished and upholstered furniture, tailored suits and coats, and had a stockpile of fabric to sew when “she got around to it.” Grandma continued her education at various community colleges, and one of her favorite classes was auto mechanics. She wanted to be able to change a tire and not be stranded. Her civil service career took her from Larson Air Force Base, to Fairchild Air Force Base, to the Othello Radar Site and finally to Mud Mountain Dam with the Corps of Engineers. She retired in 1987 and returned to Moses Lake to be near her family. Her wish was to have her ashes scattered at the dam where she spent many years arriving to work late, with a cup of coffee waiting for her on her desk.
One of Grandma’s favorite activities, besides reading history, was her genealogy research of the Rogers family coming over on the Mayflower and their descendants in America. Grandma also enjoyed her volunteer work at Samaritan Hospital’s gift shop where she was able to visit with customers. She covered the Friday afternoon shift since 1997. This, along with her passion for crossword puzzles, helped keep her mind sharp up until the end.
A small family service was held the weekend following her passing, and there will be an honoring of her life at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Moses Lake. Grandma appreciated many friends she made while a member there. It is hoped that all who knew and loved her will come, share remembrances, and enjoy some of her favorite food group, ice cream.
Please leave a memory for the family or sign their online guestbook at www.scharbachs.com. Scharbach’s Columbia Funeral Chapel, Quincy, assisted the family with services.