Portland Memorial Funeral Home
231 Main St
Portland, CT 06480
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Dierdre S. Bray

1949 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Dierdre S. Bray Obituary
Deirdre Sheil Bray, a vibrant woman of remarkable grace, strength, and compassion, died on September 5, 2018, after a brief illness. Born in Hartford on November 29, 1949, she was the daughter of the late John R. and Beverly Sheil. A graduate of Mercy High School and Southern CT State College, Deirdre went on to earn a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology at Florida State University. She began her career as a speech pathologist in the Maryland School System and also worked at several health care facilities. After returning to CT, she worked for Middlesex Hospital Home Care and for the past 11 years at Gaylord Hospital, until she reluctantly retired due to Parkinson's Disease. Following her retirement she became a warrior in her fight against this disease, joining Rock Steady Boxing Gym, in her efforts to remain active and diminish the effects of Parkinson's. Deirdre's profession as a speech pathologist gave her great happiness and fulfillment. She cherished the time spent working with her colleagues, her patients and their families. She also took tremendous joy in music, singing in the choir at St. Mary Church. She was a voracious reader, a bird lover, and an avid gardener with a deep appreciation for nature. Deirdre loved to talk sports (to anyone), especially about her favorites: FSU Seminoles, Boston Red Sox, Green Bay Packers, Golden State Warriors, Providence Friars, and UConn Women Huskies. Above all, her world revolved around her family, especially her husband of 43 years, her son and daughter-in-law, and her precious grandchildren. Deirdre was a beacon of love who always reached out to others. Her personal kindness and ever generous spirit touched many lives. She was a champion of human rights and human dignity. As an advocate for those who struggle with addiction, she volunteered her time with Families Anonymous, Portland Chapter. She had a deep and abiding faith from which she drew her strength. She leaves behind her beloved soul mate and husband, Mel L. Bray, her son Keith and daughter-in-law, Lyra, her granddaughters, Areia, Alexia and Savanna Rose. She also leaves her siblings, Keavy (Ralph) Peterson, Maura Sheil-Hughes, Michael (Natalie) Sheil, and Jay(Wendy) Sheil and nephews, Evan, Kurt, Ryan, Tyler, Neal, Ian, and niece, Christina, all of whom she adored. She took great joy in her great nephews and nieces, Elliott, Noah, Hayden, Evan Boyd, Keegan, Cecelia, and Gabby, and a host of wonderful cousins and friends. Her step-daughter Virginia Bray Holmberg predeceased her. Deirdre, you will always be missed, you will always be remembered, you will always be loved. The funeral will be held on Tuesday, September 11th at 9 a.m. from the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Mary's Church, Portland at 10 a.m. Burial will be in the family plot in Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home Monday, September 10th from 5 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to: The Church of St. Mary Renovation Fund, 45 Freestone Ave., Portland, CT 06480 or to , Donation Processing P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown MD 21741-501
Published in The Hartford Courant on Sept. 9, 2018
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