Shirley Dean Gray Boatwright Adair Stevens
By Cooper-Sorrells Funeral Home in Bonham
Aug 19, 2019
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Bonham, Texas -- An example of Jesus’ love, servitude to others, and forgiveness, Shirley Dean Gray Boatwright Adair Stevens, 94, left this earth to spend eternity with her Lord Jesus Christ on Tuesday, August 13, 2019. Dean died happily at home with her family in Paris, Texas, where she was known as Mom and Mama-Ninny (a combination of Mama and Granny).

Shirley Dean was born on 9 September 1924 in Telephone, Texas, to Jesse Andrew and Cora Mae (Runyan) Gray. Though born in a small town, she loved to travel and would say her middle name was Go.

During her life, Dean worked mostly as a caregiver. Her heart’s desire was to feed, clothe, and care for those who were ill or in need. At one point, she even pawned her wedding ring set for a small amount of money to buy food for a family. When her young daughter asked, “Why?”, Dean said, “Because they were hungry.” She was never able to get the rings back, but it was a Godly lesson shown that was never forgotten by her child.

She loved to garden and cook. In the 1950’s, she would help cook for the huge parties she and her husband, Clyde Boatwright, would give on their anniversary. Attended by thousands including some state representatives, the Boatwright barbeque parties in Whitewright, Texas, were some of the highlights of her life.

Never having gotten her drives license, she would take her children to whichever Christian church was within walking distance. She taught them “It doesn’t matter what’s written over the church house door, as long as they believe in the blood of Jesus Christ!” Dean attended the Nazarene Church in Bonham, Texas, in the early 1960’s. Later she was a member of Waddill Street Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas, for many years, and had attended the Pentecostal Church of God in Sherman, Texas, in the 1970’s and again from 2008 until it closed.

She leaves he sons Billy Clyde Boatwright (Andre’ Massey) of League City, Texas; Jesse Lynn Boatwright of Celina, Texas, and Leslie Wayne Boatwright (not a biological son but a son of her heart) of Cleveland, Texas; daughter, Cathey Elaine Boatwright Williams (Richard) of Paris, Texas (formally of Celina, Texas); step-daughter-in-law, Pamela Wilson Adair Bales of Arthur City, Texas; step-children, Roger Adair (Gail), George Adair, and Georgia Adair Durant of California; granddaughters, Cheri Michelle Bishop Duval (Charles), Kori Renae Bishop Hill (fiancé Leslie Beane), Stacey Anne Boatwright McClellan (Brent), Jayme Alyce Boatwright Paulsen (Scott), Monica Louise Boatwright Estep (David), Grandsons, Joseph Erick Williams, Jonathan Boatwright, and Michael Lynn Boatwright; great-grandchildren, Chad Christopher Duval (fiancée Rachel Stephens), Charli Michelle Duval McCue (Adam), Christopher Glenn, Chasiti Renae, and Camryn Chante Hill, Regan, Brayden, and Kayla McClellan, Tyler Main, and evan and Tucker Estep; sister Fable Naomi Gray Griffin, beloved nephew, Joel Dooly; and friend, Kathy Randolph.

Preceding her in death are her husband George C. Adair (loving companion and father of her step-children) in 1977; husband H.L. Stevens in 2008; ex-husband, Clyde Leslie Boatwright (father of her children and lifelong friend) in 2002; son, Leslie Ray Boatwright in  1948 at the age of 17 months; step-son, Leslie Clyde Adair in 2009; granddaughter, Sandra Michelle Boatwright in 1969 at the age of 22 months; great-grandson, Christopher Joseph Duval (stillborn) in 1991; sisters Birtie Mae Gray Dooly Brossetti in 2005 and Jessie Magdalene Gray Huff in 2017; and brother, Frank James Gray in 2009.

To celebrate her life, a private family service was held at Cooper-Sorrells Funeral Home in Bonham, Texas on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Rev. Cathey Williams officiated with a special message from the Rev. Fable Griffin. Interment followed at Forest Grove Cemetery. Bill Boatwright, Rick Williams, Erick Williams, Charles Duval, Les Boatwright, and niece Dana Lynette Thornburg served as pallbearers and Leslie Beane served as standby pallbearer. 

Many thanks go to Dr. Billy Boring, Jr. and the former Dr. Bill Boring, Sr. for all the wonderful, kind, and respectful care given. A special “Thank you” to Lucy Moreno (former manager), Carol, Amanda, and Joan of the Sam’s Club McKinney Texas. You each made her happy with all the loving attention. 

“Mom, I’ll never smell fresh bread baking without thinking of you. I’ll love you through all eternity and will miss you until we are together again to live forever with Jesus.” 

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