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Life is full of music and dancing for New Eagle's 'Sis' Gray

Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
Gertude ' Sis' Gray of New Eagle, gets set to play cards at the Monongahela Senior Center, in Mononghahela. On Monday, May, 6,2013.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 12:42 a.m.
 

Although her name is Gertrude, most of her friends know her as “Sis” Gray.

That's because growing up first in Greene County and later Marianna, she was the lone sister among five brothers.

“I use to gather eggs on the farm, but I didn't have to do too much because I was the only girl,” Gray said. “My brothers spoiled me. They gave me my way. They made sure I was OK.”

Now living in New Eagle, Gray was born in Pine Bank, located just south of Waynesburg.

When she was 2-years-old, the family moved to Marianna. Growing up a farm, she was the youngest of six children in the family.

She graduated from Trinity High School in 1967 and worked as a sewing machine operator in a clothing factory in Waynesburg before she got married at age 21.

Her husband, Donald F. Anderson, worked as a glass selector and in quality control for Atlas Glass in Washington, Pa. He passed away in 1999.

Gray, who kept her maiden after marriage, raised four children, Donald E. Gray, who resides in Eighty Four, Pa., Anne White, of New Eagle, Linda Haley of Bentleyville, and Kevin Anderson of Donora.

Gray is a regular at the Monongahela Senior Center.

“I live here,” Gray said, sitting at a table at the center, located at 102 W. Main St. in the city.

“I come here every day.”

Gray enjoys music and dancing. She has been a member of the center's Showboat musical production for the past 10 years. She has also recruited others to participate in Showboat.

She has participated in the Senior Games for nearly a decade. Gray has won medals in such events as the one-mile walk and bowling.

The 2013 Senior Games will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 19 at Charleroi Area High School.

Olympic-style competitions are held each year to promote health and wellness for middle- and older-aged adults. Athletic events are the 50-yard dash, basketball toss, bocce, horseshoes, putting, the one-mile walk, shuffleboard, stationary bike and football and softball throws.

Among the other events are food booths, a craft fair, a health fair, and a senior variety show. Seniors must pre-register by June 7.

The Senior Games, which are held at various high school stadiums throughout the three-county region, are sponsored by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging, the events are held for adults 50 years of age and older.

“You meet a lot of people and develop friendships through the Senior Games and Showboat,” Gray said.

Gray said she was close with all of her brothers. Only one brother survives, Robert Gray, now living in Cleveland.

“I enjoyed growing up in a large family,” Gray said. “It's nice when something happens there's someone there to help.

“We had a good time and we were close.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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