Nelda Gray-McMahan, who resided in Paris, Arkansas, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Charleston, Arkansas.

She was born August 26, 1929, in Paris to the late Thomas Gray and Mary Agnes (Bradford) Gray. She was 88 years old. She was also preceded in death by a daughter, Simone Earnheart.

Nelda was a watercolor artist and has shown in galleries in Arkansas, New Mexico and one in Essex, Maine. She taught an art class at the Paris library for ten years, painted the first butterfly poster for the Butterfly Festival, which is held each year in Paris, and was a member of American Women in the Arts. She was a 1947 graduate of Paris High School and attended Hendrix College in Conway. After living away for 55 years, she returned to Paris to be with her aging mother. She was a volunteer for Paris Chamber of Commerce for ten years and voted 2007 Volunteer of the Year. Nelda was a member of Paris Christian Center.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Oakwood Cemetery in Paris, with Bro. Angelo Florenciano officiating. A public memorial service will be announced and held at First United Methodist Church in Paris at a later date. Services are under the direction of Brotherton Brothers Funeral Home in Paris.

Nelda is survived by two daughters, Michele Abraham of Little Rock and Suzanne Rodriquez of Granbury, Texas; two sister, Gwen Newkirk of Helena and Tommie Gray of Albuquerque, New Mexico; five grandsons and five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Paris Christian Center or to First United Methodist Church in Paris.

Public viewing will be from noon until 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 at the funeral home.

A special thank you to the staff of Greenhurst Nursing Center in Charleston for the love and care that was shown and given to our mother and grandmother, Nelda Gray-McMahan.

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