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W. Dee Bartley passed into heaven's kingdom on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. She is preceded in death by her mother, Velma McNeil Gray, father William M. Gray, sister Pauline Howell and brother Mack Gray. Dee is survived by her husband, William C. Bartley of Bandera, Texas, sons Christopher G. Bartley and Gregory W. Bartley, daughter-in-law Monica R. Bartley, daughter Carol Gourlas, sister Mary Nell Hall, and brothers W. Preston Gray, James W. Gray and wife Joyce, and Henry A. Gray and wife Billie. Dee was born in Lytle, Texas on March 3, 1937 and grew up on a small farm in Lytle, Texas where she played basketball for Lytle High School, and was the organist at Lytle Methodist Church. She met her husband Bill in San Antonio while he was in the US Air Force pilot training program. Together they moved to Tripoli, Libya for an overseas military assignment before returning to Dallas, Texas in 1959. From 1959 to 1962 Dee served as administrative assistant to the director of the Office of Naval Intelligence. She also served as an assistant to the president of the Graduate Research Center (University of Texas) from 1962 to 1967. In 1967 she began a distinguished career on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC working as the personal appointment secretary for Senators Alan Bible and Henry M. "Scoop" Jackson. During this time she traveled extensively with several Congressional delegations and made many friends on both sides of the political aisle. From 1982 to 1988 the family lived in Geneva, Switzerland where Dee was the personal secretary to three Ambassadors at the United States Mission. During this time she was directly responsible for planning and coordination of events during visits by the nuclear arms negotiating committee (START I), as well as Presidential and Vice-Presidential visits to the Mission. Weekends and annual vacations were treasured time as she shared so many fond memories traveling around Europe with her family and friends. Upon returning to the United States, Dee worked on the professional staff of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate Majority Leader. She retired from government work in 1993 and began planning the family's return to her beloved Texas. She and Bill moved to Bandera, in the Texas Hill Country outside San Antonio, for good in 1993. During retirement she remained active in her community by volunteering to raise funds for the Frontier Times Museum, the Bandera High Chorale Group, and the St. Christopher's Episcopal Church music fund. She also served on the board of trustees to the Frontier Times Museum. Dee was recognized by Marquis' Who's Who In America, in the World, in Finance and Business, in Science and Engineering, and of American Women. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, traveling, and watching Texas Longhorns football. She also enjoyed the animals on the family ranch, especially the llama, sheep and guineas. Dee will be remembered by those she left behind as a fabulous cook, a gracious host, and a deeply loving mother and wife whose optimism was contagious. She lit up any room with great energy and cheer and was always the life of the party. Her dedication to those she loved was undeniable and her memory will live on. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 24 at 11:00 am at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Bandera. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Special Olympics, 1133 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. The family invites you to send condolences at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com by selecting the "Send Condolences" link. Arrangements were entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Bandera.
Grimes Funeral Chapels
1214 Mulberry St Bandera, TX 78003
Published in Express-News on May 18, 2014