May 18, 2024

Jody Gray

West Branch (formerly Osceola)

Jody Gray

Jody Anne Gray, age 60, died March 30, 2024 at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City following a courageous battle with kidney disease.

Jody was born on December 28, 1963 in Des Moines, Iowa to Sherry and Gene Gray. She graduated from Clarke Community School District in 1982.  She went on to attend the University of Iowa and Simpson College where she graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1988. Jody held advanced degrees from Drake University, including a master’s degree in educational leadership, a specialist degree in educational leadership, and the completion of doctoral coursework.  She started her teaching career in the Clarke Community School District before moving on to Earlham to teach 5th grade where she also served as a coach and drama director. 

In 1997, Jody began what would become her legacy in educational leadership. In her first administrative position, she served as the elementary principal and curriculum director at Tri-County Community Schools. Jody served in that district for eight years, the last four as both the superintendent and elementary principal. In 2005, she was hired to serve as superintendent of the Woodward-Granger Community School District and served six years in that role. In 2011, Jody accepted the position of superintendent for St. Ansgar Community Schools where she served until she retired from education in 2019.

Jody was known for her success in garnering community support for facilities improvement and was extremely proud of the major facilities improvement efforts she oversaw in the final two districts she served. She had a long and well-respected educational career that impacted countless students and educators. Jody made many great friends in the communities she served and was devout in the sharing of her time, talents, and support.

Jody was a passionate Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals fan. She religiously watched and attended games throughout the years.  Jody also enjoyed the occasional trip to the casino, particularly with family members. She loved to travel, so much so that she would begin to plan the next trip while still on a trip. She enjoyed organizing travel arrangements and cherished the adventures with friends. Jody loved and cared for many fur babies over the years. She treated them as though they were her children. She will be missed dearly by her cats, Patches, Lido, and Miss Fig.

Jody is survived by her sister, Deb Miller, of West Branch; brother, William Wheeler, of Mason City, and a host of loving cousins.

Jody is preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Julie (Bip) Gray; her nephew, Jamie Miller; maternal grandparents, Dorothy and William (Bud) Moore; and paternal grandparents, Robert and Nina Nedderman.

Services for Jody will held on Saturday, May 4th with a visitation from 3:00-5:00pm at Kale Funeral Home in Osceola, Iowa.  A brief service where memories about her life and legacy will be shared, and will start at 5:00pm.

Memorials in Jody’s name can be provided to Friends of the Animal Shelter, Tipton, Iowa or St. Jude’s.