About Valerie Donnelly Gray
Val Gray lives in Boise, Idaho, but she will always be a SoCal girl. She is a fourth generation California, so it’s in her blood. She never lived farther than ten miles from where she was born, Van Nuys, California and never considered moving: until she turned fifty and then her and her hubby moved to Boise to follow the grand kids. She’s a proud “trailing Grand-parent” and thankful that the daughter’s and families moved to such a wonderful place. Hubby Bill and Val have made Boise their home. They love the four seasons, the beautiful Rockies, and the fact that their seven grand-children live within just a few minutes from them. Almost nine grands-one born by Christmas, 2012, and one born in the New Year-March. Her son is a professional musician in Los Angeles. She loves his passion for music an often prays that someday he can support himself with his special gift. Blessings abound with her two daughters and their incredible husbands. So thankful for so much!!
Val and Bill, Sr. left behind their son, Bill Jr., a professional musician. Living that far away from him has not been easy, but they know it’s been good for him. He visits Boise and loves it, but they also travel to see him as often as they can. They are proud of him and love the man he is becoming.
She also left behind her parents, brother Vern and his wonderful wife and family, sister Pam and her great cook of a hubby, Jim, and other family as well. That’s been the hardest part of this move since she was always so close with all of them.
They also left behind so many friends. They call their California friends, “Historical Friends” because they have tons of history and experience with them. Marriages, births, illness, death, love and many years of friendship. Many have visited and have not forgotten them and they feel very blessed. Pete and Diana Calzia win the “Most frequent visitors” award. Thanks guys!
New friends are the biggest blessing they have found in Boise. These “future friends” have many things in common. Many of them are transplants from Cali. Many of them are from everywhere but Idaho-though some wonderful Idaho friends as well have surfaced…so they bring with them a lot of fun from other states: new games, new words, lots of stories, and all this adds great dimension to their lives.
Another huge blessing is to have in place even before we got here a great church to call home, Grace Bible. What a community of believers! Their daughters had roots here before they came and they just wanted to be with them. Pastor Joe is a wonderful Shepherd and teacher and his wife, Shirlie, what a gift, they both have become some of their closest Boise friends. They love chatty evening’s together and playing board games. A good movie, every now and then, is wonderful too.
Val teaches a women’s bible study on THursday mornings to some of the most wonderful women in the world. These women have taught her more than she will ever teach them. She cherishes the time she has with them…they have lost a couple to heaven in the last few years…supported each other with prayer when husbands have passed to the arms of our Lord…and laughed, cried and laughed some more. A few aha moments have sealed their fellowship, and every Wednesday afternoon, Val gets to sit with her friend Edna, and crochette and relax. Very lovely.
When Val moved to Boise, she had to find a new profession, after working with children for 25 years, she wondered what was next. A new friend, her Realtor, said, “You would make a great Realtor.” SO, that is what she does and works very hard at it. She’s with a great locally owned company called ATOVA, the best Broker-owner ever, Steve Barbey. She hopes to sell real estate and write for the rest of her life.
Bill, Val’s husband, is a one-of-a -kind incredible man. They were set up by Bill’s brother Chuck, as a blind date. No doubt, they are opposites, but opposites that work great together-definitely making one wonderful couple-a wonderful yen of her yang. Bill works at HP and loves to dream of fixing an old truck, hitching a trailer to it, and driving off into the wild blue yonder…with his wife, of course. They just celebrated 35 years of marriage in Hawaii.
Just to mention one more thing. Val misses her best “historical friend” ever, Carol Steele. Carol and Val became friends almost forty-five years ago. Jeff and Carol planted a church in Santa Clarita that they were part of for 15 incredible years. Carol and Val are absolute opposites and outside of the Lord, and respective hubbies, Carol is one of the most influential people in Val’s life. Carol taught Val to be a better mother, wife and Christian. Carol also taught her how to cook, as did her friend, Noreen Ward, and, most of all, how to be content. Of course, the Holy Spirit is still working on Val in all of these areas, with the possible exception of cooking, but not because she is the best cook…Her friend Merry Graham is the best cook ever.