DENISON - George Glenn Gravley, 78, of Denison died October 22, 2013 at a local hospital following a battle with cryoglobulinemia. A private family service will be held at the family cemetery in Dallas.|
George was born April 18, 1935 in Dallas, the son of Glenn and Mildred Gravley. He grew up and attended high school in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, then studied journalism at the University of Oklahoma, where he met and then married his first wife, Carolyn Barbara Waldon of Muskogee, Oklahoma. He later graduated from the University of Detroit, earning a degree in economics. His studies were interrupted by the U.S. Army, which drafted him to serve as a company clerk at a base near Inchon, South Korea.
He returned home a father to new son Adam, and worked as a beat reporter for newspapers in Wichita Falls, St. Louis, Mo., and Kansas City, Mo., before taking a public relations position with Philco Ford in the mid-1960s. He moved his family including new son Eric to Houston to help promote Philco's involvement with the Apollo 8 space mission.
His public relations career took him to Philadelphia, Pa., headquarters to Philco, and then to Detroit, Mich., where he worked for Ford Motor Company under Lee Iacoca and Henry Ford II and learned the craft of corporate speechwriting. He devoured books, newspapers and magazines, always watched the evening television news, and was forever surveying the culture for the perfect joke to start a next speech.
In 1976 George moved with his family to Houston, where he worked for Tenneco and Conoco, and then later as a freelance speech writer, working out of his home office on a first generation, floppy disk IBM computer. In the mid-1980s he moved back to Dallas to write speeches for Bob Crandall of American Airlines and for two CEOs of Greyhound Lines. He also continued his work as a freelancer, attended cooking classes and took a job in a bakery.
George met Charlotte Preston Browning through mutual friends. They had their first date at Starbucks and were married a year later in Dallas in 1999. They travelled to Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America and lived for a time in Bella Vista, Ark., before designing and building a home together in east Denison\.
In addition to reading, writing, cooking, and traveling, George enjoyed camping and hiking, and volunteer work, including helping to promote downtown Denison. George had an adventurous streak and enjoyed driving America's blue highways, just going down roads to see what was there, hoping to find an authentic spot that served great local food or spy incomparable scenic view, and he had lifelong unrequited dreams of sailing the globe, becoming a blueberry farmer in New England, and traveling those same blue highways on a Harley.
George served as a volunteer for the Webb Chapel Cemetery Association and was a co-organizer of Webb2002 in Farmers Branch, a family reunion of descendants of Isaac Webb. He loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, as well as staying in contact with his OU classmates. He was a devoted cat owner and along with Charlotte served as a loving foster parent to many rescued cats.
George was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Carl Gravley; and his first wife.
Survivors are his wife, Charlotte Preston Gravley; two sons and daughters-in-law, Adam Gravley and Catherine Adams-Gravley of Seattle, Washington and Eric Gravley and Anna Porteus of Washington, D.C.; three granddaughters, Alexandra, Ryan and Azella; a stepdaughter, Janette Davis of Dallas; a step-grandson, Lance Derrick; a step-greatgranddaughter, Lainey Grace Derrick; and a brother and sister-in-law, Joe and June Gravley of Hearst.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to local animal shelters or animal rescue organizations.
Published in The Herald Democrat on Oct. 23, 2013