Weatherford Democrat

February 10, 2013

Carmen Gray Ashby


Weatherford Democrat

— Carmen Gray Ashby, 98, died Jan. 17, 2013.

A memorial service is 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Parker County Senior Center.

Carmen was born May 26, 1914. She was raised in Los Angeles with her four sisters and one brother (Maureen, Corinne, Edith, Vivian and Warren). The last surviving sibling, she almost made her goal of living 100 years. Carmen attended the Christian Science Church in Fort Worth.

Carmen was 4 when the great Spanish Flu epidemic hit the U.S. She was the only one in her family who didn’t get sick, and she spent days bringing water and whatever food she could find to the rest of the family. It wasn’t until after everyone was recovered that someone thought to ask where she got the water because she couldn’t reach the faucet. She told them she had been dipping the water from the toilet. At least everyone recovered.

In 1954 she and her husband moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where they worked for a grocery chain. They moved back to Los Angeles to purchase their own grocery store. Over the next 10 years they bought and sold several stores, moving from Hollywood to Simi Valley, back to Alaska, and back to Los Angeles.

Late in life, she began working as a TV extra and landed a spot as one of the townspeople in the “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” series, where she worked until the show was cancelled. She also appeared as a background character in a number of other TV shows and a few movies. 

She joined her daughter and granddaughter in Texas in 1994. She enjoyed spending time at the Grapevine Senior Center and, more recently, the Weatherford Senior Center. Carmen was Ms. Senior Parker County for 2011.

Carmen is survived by her son, Charles Michael Dunham (Costa Rica); daughter, Kathy Lyon; granddaughter, Megan Parks (Weatherford); and numerous nieces and nephews in California and Hawaii.

Carmen was preceded in death by her sisters, Maureen, Corinne, Edith and Vivian; and her brother, Warren.