Greta Lothrop Hockersmith (’54)

Greta Ray Hockersmith
JUNE 28, 1933 – DECEMBER 27, 2021

Greta Ray Hockersmith, 88, of League City, Texas passed away on December 27, 2021. Greta Ray was born in Houston, Texas on June 28, 1933 to Frank and Charry Lothrop.
Greta Ray grew up on Borden Creek in Dickinson, Texas. During World War II, she lived on her family’s farm in Cleburne, Texas. She graduated from Dickinson High School. She began playing piano when she was 4, and was very involved in band during her High School years. She attended the University of Houston, was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, and was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music. She later earned a Masters of Education, also from the University of Houston. Greta Ray married James Lee Hockersmith in June of 1958, and taught music at McAdams in Dickinson until 1967. She lived in Dickinson until 1977, when she relocated to League City, but she remained connected to Dickinson through the Dickinson Historical Society and the Methodist Church, as well as family and friends.

In 1989, Greta Ray returned to teaching music at League City Elementary. She taught there for 30 years. After her retirement, she began researching the genealogy of her mother?s family, the Neals, going all the way back to the 1400s and their immigration from Ireland. She wrote ?The Ancestors and Descendants of Stephen Poe Neal?, which was awarded 1st place in the State of Texas genealogy competition, and an Honorable Mention at the national level. More recently, she collaborated on historical maps of Dickinson with the Dickinson Historical Society.

Greta Ray was known for her dry sense of humor and her sharp wit. She enjoyed sharing her love of music, and always had her students out of their seats, dancing and singing. Out in public, former students would come up to hug her and share that she had been their favorite teacher, some from 10 or 20 years before. She enjoyed historical research, and sharing her discoveries with her Sunday School class at League City United Methodist Church. She also enjoyed breakfasting with friends at Whataburger. She was Texan to the core!

Greta’s favorites included music, especially Broadway show tunes, teaching, genealogy, Schnauzers, historical research, and of course, Whataburger breakfast just to name a few.

She was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Charry Lothrop and husband Jim Hockersmith. She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Alice Rogstad, grandson Forrest Jaeger Layman, and great-granddaughter Aurora Danielle Layman.

A visitation for Greta Ray will be held on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with a funeral service to start at 2:00 p.m. and committal to follow. All services held Forest Park East Funeral Home and Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Dickinson Historical Society and fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at below for the Hockersmith family.

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