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Flora L. McCray

July 22, 1928 - June 22, 2017

A viewing will be held at 10:00 AM and a funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM Thursday (June 29, 2017) both at Omega Funeral & Cremation Services 223 SE 122nd Ave, Portland OR 97233. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.

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Flora L. McCray (Wilson), 88 of Portland, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017 at Creekside Rehabilitation and Nursing in Portland. Daughter of the late Dorothy Enid (Jackson) Wilson and Arthur Ephram Wilson, she was born in Portland, OR on July 22, 1928. She married the late Oscar Calvin McCray (passed in 2007). The oldest of fourteen children Flora learned love, responsibility and compassion at an early age. It seemed only fitting Flora dedicated her working years to caring for others as a nurse’s aide alongside her sister, Carol for 20 years.

Flora had a kind and caring heart with a spitfire personality. Through her years, Flora was the mother hen to all the neighborhood kids affectionately referred to simply as ‘Mother’. There wasn’t a face that went unwiped or a stomach that went unfed as long as Flora was around. Known coast to coast for her amazing peanut butter cookies and meatloaf Flora spread culinary joy from Oregon to Connecticut. Culinary joy that even included a $300 meatloaf when you add the long distance bill she incurred after teaching the recipe to her granddaughter across the US via telephone. Though Flora was as soft as her name she meant business when business was needed, namely in the potty training department. She never met a child in diapers she couldn’t train to the potty in two weeks or less, guaranteed!

Flora spent her retired adult life caring for all those who needed caring for; nursing both her mother Dorothy and her husband of 50+ years, Oscar until they departed this life. Once on her own Flora continued to live fully frequenting the casino and taking ice cream trips with her sister in law Joyce; strawberry ice cream only for those who knew Flora. Lottery scratch offs, daytime TV and building her Sunday hat collection became choice pastimes for Flora as well as exchanging playful digs with her sister Nita. You’ve never heard some called an “old bat” with more love. With frequent cards from her granddaughters and son Gary, Flora always looked forward to the mail; besides where else would she get the newest Fingerhut or As Seen On TV catalogue to order her next delivery. Flora once ordered 135 dish towels because the shipping and handling was free when you order the apron too! She later donated them to the Goodwill and I’m certain according to her granddaughters purchased at least 15 back.

As age gets us all Flora set aside her independence to allow someone to take care of her. First living with her Sisters, Nita and Blanche and then with her son Michael Flora finally settled in “the funhouse” when her granddaughters, Malesha and Latasia moved cross country to return the love and care Flora had given them. The funhouse, consisting of granddaughters, grandsons, great-grandkids, fish, dogs and cats, embraced Flora with open arms and activities to boot. She enjoyed spending her evenings surrounded by her great grandchildren A’mere, Jaeden and Jordyn “The Boss”, a named appointed by Flora herself, watching favorite shows; I Love Lucy, Sanford and Son, Wheel of Fortune and all of Tyler Perry’s Madea movies. Flora never met an infomercial she didn’t like, a People’s Court case she couldn’t rule on or a paternity test Maury got right. Daytime TV became Flora’s entertainment “Do you know how many channels there are here?” she’d exclaim to her family before always settling on TVOne because George and Florence were fighting again on The Jeffersons. Filled with a love for the Lord Flora spent as many Sundays as possible attending church service with her congregation at Greater Bethesda Christian Church. Sunday nights were reserved for family Bingo where only Flora was allowed to win the blackout game. A Goodwill enthusiast and avid Bingo player, Flora recently joined the Cherry Blossom Seniors Club so Wednesdays consisted of Bingo winnings and thrift shopping. Flora had a love of life and her life was filled with love not only from her friends and family but from her special friend Nyamou Nyaga. Flora and Nyamou would spend evenings on the phone chatting like teenagers and spend Monday evenings together cooking and being entertained by friends. Flora leaves four sons, Michael McCray, Keith McCray of Portland; Tyree McCray, Gary McCray of Alaska; a host of grandchildren including Latasia Black, Malesha (Black) Kennedy of Portland, Sherry Black of Hartford CT, Michael McCray II of Portland, Robert Black III of Hartford, CT; two grandsons in law Dewayne Kennedy and Jamaine Ledbetter; three sisters Nita Wilson (82), Judy Brown (72) of CA, Elana Wilson (71) of Portland; two brothers Clarence Wilson (79) and Vernon Lee Wilson (69) of CA, a cherished friend and love Nyamou Nyaga as well as several great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews and a host of family and friends. She is predeceased by two daughters Shirley McCray and Sherry (McCray) Black-Moore; three sons Calvin McCray, Oliver McCray, John McCray; and three sisters Blanche Holloway, Mardell Taylor and Carol Jean Wilson. In loving memory of a life well spend and so many hearts touched in her 88 years in life we conduct this service to celebrate the life of Flora Lee McCray.

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