Ms. Texas Senior 1991
Ms. Texas Senior 1992
Gaynelle Carley Gray
Gaynelle Carley Gray is a retired school teacher from Oklahoma. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cameron University, Lawton, OK and taught the Gifted and Talented students for 13 years in one of Lawton’s elementary schools. She was widowed after being married 38 years to Dr. Otto Carley. She was a member of the Lawton Junior League & the Kappa Kappa Iota Sorority. Later she married Thomas Gray and after he retired from Petroleum Engineering they moved to Texas.
Gaynelle has one son, Dr. James Carley, Stillwater, OK, two daughters, Cathryn C. Franks, Four Star Ranch, Roosevelt, OK, and Caryn C. Maher, living in Katy, TX. Gaynelle has 5 grandchildren, three have graduated from Oklahoma State University, and the younger 2 girls are in high school. Her family likes to tell about the special dress she wore for her son’s wedding. The next year she wore it to Cathy’s wedding and later wore it to Caryn’s. When the oldest grandchild was planning her wedding, Gaynelle got another dress and wore it to each of their three weddings.
Gaynelle won the 1992 Ms. Texas Senior America pageant held in Arlington, TX singing a Patsy Cline song. The Ms. Senior America National Pageant was held two months later in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she won the evening gown award. Other highlights of Gaynelle’s life have been traveling to visit her daughter and family while they were stationed at several posts in the U.S., in Germany, and later in South Korea.
Since winning the Ms. Texas Senior America pageant in 1992, there have been many places and occasions for her to represent senior ladies of Texas. Gaynelle’s philosophy is, “The adversities that I have faced such as breast cancer and my only grandson being a paraplegic from an automobile accident, have taught me that prayer and faith could pull me through anything. I find pleasure in working. I believe it is never too late to accomplish our goals.”
Gaynelle volunteered six years at the Lake Vista Cancer Clinic in Lewisville. She is an active member of the Lewisville Church of Christ, the Lewisville Area Republican Club, the Widowed Persons Service, and is secretary for the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant Board.
Ms. Texas Senior 1997
Mary Frances Hansen
Mary Frances has been given a heart for helping others and a gift for bringing comfort to those in need. She has her degree in nursing and worked as an ICU nurse for many years and served as a nurse with a team of doctors as they wandered deep into the jungles of the Amazon in 1993 on a medical missionary trip.
Former Volunteer for Heritage Village Nursing Home for 8 years and was given the title of “The Sunshine Lady.” She accumulated over 10,000 hours and received the “Outstanding Individual Volunteer Award 1990” – State of Texas Long Term Health Care.
Former Volunteer for 15 years for the Greater Dallas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and accumulated more than 25,000 hours. Served four terms as Board Member, Former Chairperson for Memory Walk for three years and served in various other capacities for the organization. First Recipient of the Alzheimer’s “Volunteer of the Year 1992 Award.” 1995 Rosalynn Carter Caregiving Award Nominee.
In 1998 Sigma Kappa Sorority honored Mary Frances when they initiated her into their society of women who have excelled in their fields and made the world a better place in humanitarian terms.
Currently serving on the board of Friends of Senior Affairs. Formerly served as Vice-Chair for the Senior Affairs Commission-City of Dallas for 8 years, Chairperson for MayFair for 3 years (Celebration for Older American’s Month-City of Dallas). Former Advisory Board Member for New Generations Newspaper, Former Board Member for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), Former Advisory Board Member for Richland College Emeritus Program
Former board member of the Dallas Area Agency on Aging, Former Vice- President of Network of Career Women and Chairperson for their annual fundraiser in 2000. Former Advisory Board Member-Dallas Life Underwriters Association, Former Advisory board Member – Retired Senior Citizens Volunteer Program, Former Volunteer for the Dallas Museum of Art.
Former “Ms. Texas Senior America 1997,” Ms. Congeniality Award and Community Service Award 1997, 2002 “National Winner of Beauties of America 60’s”, 2002 Beauties of America-Achievement Award.
Worked part time for Princes Cruises for 7 ½ years as Social Director and has traveled the world. She has been to 130 countries and seven continents. Co-Author of “Cruise Ship Passengers Asked the Wackiest Questions.”
Former Director for the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant and also serves serves on the board for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and works with the Dallas Police Department with their CIT training for the police
Mary Frances is a professional speaker who speaks on The Positive Side of Aging and the Neuropsychology of Staying Young. She also writes articles for Celebration Magazine.
Ms. Texas Senior 2002
Ms. Senior America 2002
Mary Virginia Tuinstra
Ms. Texas Senior 2003
Beth Weems Pirtle
Beth Weems Pirtle, originally from West Columbia, Texas, is a graduate of the American High School, Mexico City, and holds degrees from the University of Texas (Bachelor of Science--Spanish), Southern Methodist University (Master of Science--Deaf Education), and certification in counseling. She retired in 1994 after 26 years in teaching.
Beth loves to travel and has visited six continents. She is a member of the Sister City organization between Dallas and Saratov, Russia. Representing her church, Highland Park UMC, she has visited Saratov five times and hosted groups from there for many years. She and Rodney have participated in the International Music Festival in Saratov. She and her husband are very active in Rotary International.
She and her husband are musical entertainers and perform together for many different ages. Someone said, “You can do Pre K to Special K!!” They have performed the National Anthem at The Ballpark and at Lone Star Park many times.
Beth is a member of and active in many organizations in the Dallas area: Church Women United, American Association of University Women, Farmers Branch Women’s Club, United Nations Association, United Methodist Women, United States Tennis Association. She loves to stay busy!
Beth is Ms. Senior American Dream 2010. She is Ms. Texas Senior America 2003 and 1st runner up Ms. Senior America 2003. She won the national title Senior Beauties of America 1999.
Beth and her husband, Rodney, were married in 1957 and have 3 grown children (Rod, Dotti and Jim) and 5 grandchildren. Her family, tennis, and volunteer work are her passions.