Connie Gruy, 75, passed away at her home in Granbury, Texas, on August 29, after a brief battle with lung cancer. Constance Judith Hedrick was born and raised in Dallas, where she attended Hillcrest High School. Growing up, she was a natural athlete, playing in tennis tournaments and waterskiing on Lake Texoma with her family on the weekends. She attended modeling school before marrying Robert H. Gruy in 1962. Their long romance (they started going steady in the summer of 1961) is family lore: They divorced after 18 months, continued to date throughout their breakup, then remarried in 1965 – and the rest is history. They lived in a house trailer in Morgan City, Louisiana, where Bob worked as an oil-field diver before Connie convinced him to return to college. They then moved to College Station, where she worked at Texas A&M University’s Former Students Association to support them while he earned his degree. Bob’s job in the oil industry took them to New Orleans before they settled in Houston to raise their two children. Connie was active in her kids’ schools and was a member of her neighborhood’s garden club, bridge club, and bowling league. While Bob traveled the world for work, Connie managed the home front, a classic milk-and-cookies mom who made their house a welcoming place where everyone wanted to hang out. After Bob’s retirement, they divided their time between homes on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and Lake Granbury, Texas.
Connie’s kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness touched everyone who knew her. She never met a project she didn’t like, and her creative talents were legendary. Her personality was on display in everything in her life, from her whimsical decorating style to her lush gardens, which her grandchildren referred to as “colorful wonderlands.” She was an epic party planner, a talented hostess and cook, and a thoughtful gift giver. She was also a skilled shopper who loved a sale and supported small businesses in her communities, subscribing to the belief that a good parking spot equaled a good shopping day. Other Connie truisms include “Everything happens for a reason,” “Nothing good happens after midnight,” and “It is what it is.” Her focus was her family, and she doted on her grandchildren. She loved animals, and in recent years adopted three Brittany rescue dogs.
She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Robert; daughter Elaine Gruy Srnka and her husband, Dave Srnka; son Bruce Gruy; her two beloved grandchildren, Sydney and Sam Srnka; three brothers, including John Hedrick and his wife, Barbara; and numerous nephews, nieces, and extended family and friends around the world. Her family wishes to thank the staff at Interim Health Care, including her hospice nurse Bridget Clary and aide Alicia Martinez, who helped her through this time. Connie’s grace, dignity, patience, and wisdom remained constant, and her quiet presence and calm spirit lifted us all. The world is poorer without her.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Her family appreciates any donations made in Connie’s name to Brittany Rescue in Texas at brittanyrescueintexas.org.