Obituary: Ruth Dorothy (Smejkal) Gray

October 18, 1925 ~ November 14, 2020

Ruth Dorothy (Smejkal) Gray, 95, of Baileys Harbor, died on Saturday, November 14, 2020 at the Skilled Nursing Facility in Sturgeon Bay.

She was born October 18, 1925 in Sturgeon Bay,daughter of the late Wenzel and Dora (Haberli) Smejkal. She graduated from Sevastopol High School with the Class of 1943. On November 15, 1945, she was united in marriage with Harold Leon Gray at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Institute. The couple raised their six children on the family farm in Baileys Harbor and spent 66 years together before he preceded her in death on January 19, 2014. Ruth was a devout Catholic and was a member of St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, where she sang in the choir and was a past president of the Holy Rosary Sodality. She loved gardening and flowers, cooking, doing crafts, dancing, and drinking Manhattans. She was also an avid card player and enjoyed playing sheepshead and canasta.

Ruth will be missed by her children, Janice Belleau of Green Bay, Mary (Dennis) Schultz of Fish Creek, David (Jola) Gray, John Gray, Paul (Mary Kay) Gray all of Baileys Harbor, and Pamela Gray of Kentucky; 14 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Wenzel and Dora Smejkal; beloved husband, Harold; daughter-in-law, Lori Gray; and siblings, Marie (William) Brungraber, Jeanette Smejkal, Martin (Jessie) Smejkal, Rita (Clifford) Haen, Wenzel (Cecelia) Smejkal, Cecilia (Austin) Seiler, and Erv (Frances) Smejkal.

Ruth’s life will be honored with a Mass of Christian Burial at Stella Maris Parish – Baileys Harbor site on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. Thomas Farrell officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the service. Ruth will be laid to rest next to her husband in St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery following Mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Holy Rosary Sodality. 

In consideration with the local and statewide mandates, a 75-person occupancy will be allowed in the church. Those in attendance must wear a mask, practice social distancing, and have their temperature taken before entering. The Mass will be livestreamed via the Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services Facebook page.

Casperson Funeral Home of Sister Bay is assisting the Gray family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Ruth may be shared with her family through her tribute page at