Jeanne Alexis Ardans Gray was born on March 23, 1945 to Herman & Helen Ardans in Fort Smith, Arkansas and grew up in Nob Hill, Albuquerque. She attended Bandelier Elementary, Wilson Middle School, and then Valley High School- a decision she independently made, "because the horses were there." Jeanne's father, Herman Ardans founded the Zuzax Trading Post, which earned the area its name, and as a young girl she would help him at work & ride her horse to town.
Jeanne made lifelong friends, and had a troop, called "The Color Girls"; Jeanne was Green, Gay was Gray, Lorraine was Yellow, Judy was Red, & Sue was Blue. "Code Red" was the group's cue that someone needed help.
Jeanne studied Radiography & Mammography in Dallas, TX. She was a member of AART and retired as a Radiology Technologist. A little known fact is that Jeanne was working in the Dallas hospital during the death of President Kennedy.
In her spare time she trained as a cosmetologist, earned awards in photography as she loved New Mexico skies, and being outside. She traveled as often as she could, and trekked as far as Russia, & Bolivia. When she wasn't working she was dancing, as evidenced by her collection of red fringed cowboy boots. Jeanne deeply valued her relationships with her animals and found much support and love in them; some would say she loved her dogs more than her husbands.
Jeanne was an avid horsewoman & an active member of the New Mexico Middle Rio Grande Blackwood Country Horseman Association, participating in trail clean ups, and long distance riding. Jeanne participated in rodeos and competitive riding events all her life, oh how she loved her horses.
Jeanne was an active member and sponsor of many in the Alcoholic Anonymous program for over 30 years, a community which gave her support to change her life, making amends with family & friends. In her later years Jeanne was a good listener & a well of good advice.
Jeanne passed away on June 4th, 2021 due to dementia. She is survived by her 2 daughters, Holly Gray & Heidi Gray, 3 granddaughters, Estrella Avila, Haven Avila, and Lyra Salandre and great granddaughter, Breelynn Ardan Banas (2.5 yrs), and cattledog, Harper.
Rosary will be held on Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. at FRENCH- University. It was Jeanne's wish that folks wear yellow, or bright colors, at her funeral. Please dress accordingly, as we celebrate her vibrancy in life and in death.
For those who are unable to attend a live stream will be available to view below.
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