Florence Pearl (Viles) Wray


Florence Pearl (Viles) Wray passed away Thursday, March 31, 2016, at the age of 92 at her residence at Greenwood Village South in Greenwood.

Florence was born in Champaign, Illinois, on Aug. 24, 1923, to William Everett “Pop” and Cecilia Jeanette (Thomas) Viles.

She married Pierre Edward Wray in Richmond on Sept. 30, 1944. They were married for 56 years, until his death in 2000.

Florence was employed by A.C. Nielsen Corporation, a market research and analysis firm, as a proof reader and then a commercial artist, retiring in 1985.

She was an accomplished artist who worked in many mediums — oil, acrylics, pastels and silks. She painted most of her life. As her family moved from Indiana to California and North Carolina and finally back to Indiana, she was actively involved in art centers at each location.

When she returned to Indiana after her husband’s death, she joined the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour. There she participated in the Wednesday group, instructed classes in silk and other methods and mediums of painting, and where she had many lovely examples of her art on display. Her paintings are in private collections throughout the United States.

Florence is survived by her daughter, Priscilla G. (Homer) Mullins of Macon, Georgia; stepson, Duane P. Wray of Sun City, Arizona, and stepdaughter, Gloria R. Wagner of Evansville; eight grandchildren, Anne Messersmith Brown, Jason Messersmith, Kelly Frank Green, Joseph W. Frank Jr., Dianne Martin, Lawrence Wray, Andrea Woolridge and Christopher Wagner; 14 great-grandchildren, Emma, Robert and Henry Brown, Riley and Joseph Frank III, Gracen and Avery Green, Brittany and Cameron Martin, Maighread and Maeve Wray, Joseph, Elijah, and Zachary Woolridge; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Pierre Edward Wray; three brothers, Robert, Roy and Glenn Viles;  three sisters, Roberta Hartwell, Helen Green and Gladys Patton; father-in-law, James Washington Wray; and mother-in-law, Hattie Marie Geers.

Florence will be laid to rest beside her husband in Abington Cemetery in Abington. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Florence’s honor to the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts at soinart.com or by calling 812-522-2278.

Jessen Funeral Home, Whiteland Chapel, is entrusted with arrangements.

Information: jessenfuneralhome.com