Ms. Beverly “Deouan” Gray graced the world with her presence on March 13, 1954. The late Willa Mae Sanchez and the late Benjamin Tucker Gray, Sr. of South Bend, Indiana welcomed and embraced her as their first born child.
Beverly soon became a big sister; a role that was natural for her. Being a no-nonsense nurturer and fierce protector of her siblings seemed to be encoded in her DNA! She was a born fighter, and her tenacious spirit helped her endure the bumps and bruises of life -- undaunted. Life may have humbled her, but God sustained her, “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” (Psalm 144).
Beverly grew up on South Bend’s Southeast side and attended Riley High School.. In 1970 she gave birth to her first child – a daughter Stacy. Four years later she welcomed in the world her son, Kenyhon. Her children were an important part of her life and a great source of pride and inspiration.
Early on Beverly lived between Flint, Michigan and Bridgeport, Connecticut eventually making Bridgeport her home for more than 20 years. In 1991 during a visit to South Bend Beverly found a love that would last a lifetime. She met and married Everett Maxwell and made her permanent home in Indiana. Although their marriage would eventually end, their bond of friendship withstood the test of time. Everett remained a trusted friend, companion and caregiver until the day she transitioned.
Upon returning to South Bend Beverly began and built a strong relationship with the Lord. She attended Pentecostal Church of God in Christ where she often served as an usher. She also loved to fellowship at Power at Praise Ministries and Emmanuel Covenant Church International of Battle Creek, Michigan. Beverly was formerly employed at Nylon Kraft in Mishawaka where she worked for over 16 years. There she was a dedicated and hard worker who will be remembered for fighting for fair treatments and workers’ rights.
Beverly’s flair for fashion and her radiant and welcoming smile accented her magnetic personality. She always wore beautiful bright and cheerful clothing and was always coordinated from head to toe. She indeed dressed to impress. To know her was to love her and to be in her presence you were guaranteed to laugh often. Her lively spirit made her presence a joy. People were drawn to her humor and gregarious personality.
Beverly used her voice to inspire others, and created her own social media ministry. She was a connector who regularly encouraged family members and friends to be positive and persevere. She shared many messages of God’s love, compassion and grace. When she sent out personal messages, they were well received and Beverly received tremendous gratitude. She seemed to know exactly what message was needed to instill hope and motivate people to keep pressing forward. She had a keen eye for photography and taking pictures was one of her favorite past times. She was often called upon to shoot family gatherings including weddings and other events. She always seemed to add an extra element to the photos she took which left the subjects in awe.
Beverly fought the good fight of faith as she battled cancer. With her family surrounding her in hospice care, she transitioned to Heaven’s Gates on May 13, 2021. She was 67. Along with her parents, she was also preceded in death by her brother Bradford Gray and a special niece Kenya Burnett.
She leaves to mourn her passing and cherish many fond memories: her daughter, Stacy Gray of Brooklyn, New York; her son Kenyhon (and his wife Linnette) Gray of South Bend; her siblings Barbara and her husband Benjamin of Minnesota; Benjamin (and his wife Meechie) Gray of Battle Creek; Bridgette Gray of Erie, Pennsylvania; Brenda Gray of Florida; and brothers, Barry, Nathan, Glenn and Brian; her beloved grandchildren, Tyleeke Mikey Gray, Linisa Shae Gray, Selayah Seven Gray and Emmanuel Paul Gray; great grandchildren, Jordyn and Jahlani; one aunt, Louise Woodard-Stoner of South Bend and an uncle, Melvin Gray of Flint; along with her special cousins who are more like sisters, many loved ones and friends.
Beverly lived a life filled with love, laughter and kindness. Like many others she experienced bumps along life’s journey; however, she chose to let her trials make her and not break her. Beverly was committed to being an inspiration and encouragement to everyone she could and that she was. She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Beverly Deouan Gray, please visit our floral store.