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08/02/20 - NNHS Newsletter - Earl Gray

Earl Johnson Gray, Jr.
(18 Feb 1923 - 29 July 2020)

Newport News High School Class of 19__

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

    There's more sad new to report.   Earl Gray, Class of 19__, passed away at The Hidenwood Retirement Community in Newport News on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at the age of 97.

From the Daily Press - 08/02/20:

                  Earl Johnson Gray, Jr.
      NEWPORT NEWS - Earl Johnson Gray, Jr., 97 years old, was born February 18, 1923 and passed away peacefully on July 29, 2020 at The Hidenwood Retirement Community.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen C. Gray, of 58 years and a grandson, Wayne Butner, Jr.

Together they raised 6 children, sons Bill Young (Sue) of Newport News, Robert Young (Tricia) of Jarvisburg, NC, and Earl J. Gray III (Caron) of Newport News; daughters Janice Sears (Bill) of Baltimore, MD; Denise Dailey (Dan) of Newport News, and Lisa Hayes (Jeff) of Maineville, OH. He was blessed with 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Earl loved life and get-togethers with his family and took great pride in showing off his cooking skills.

He played football at Newport News High School, and later won a football scholarship to Clemson University.

Dad was also an avid Washington Redskins fan. After school, Earl became a Navy career man. He enjoyed offshore fishing in the OBX and caught several citations over the years. He loved telling jokes and stories which entertained all those around him.

He was a devoted member of Morrison United Methodist Church, until it was dissolved.


Earl was a dedicated member of the Warwick Masonic Lodge (#336) for over 52 years and was active in the Peninsula Shriner's Club where he played the recorder and cymbals in the Oriental Band for many local parades.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the caring staff at The Hidenwood Retirement Community, as well as Hospice Community Care. A special note of thanks to his devoted companion aide, Sharon Brown, who provided our Dad with the most kind and loving care and always put a smile on his face.

The family respectfully asks that in lieu of flowers, our Dad would be honored to have donations made in his memory to the Shriner's Children's Hospital through

A private graveside service for family members will be held at Peninsula Memorial Park.

Arrangements by W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home.
View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published in Daily Press on August 2, 2020. 

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August 02, 2020

~ Margaret Eubanks

August 02, 2020


October 19, 2020



October 19, 2020


October 19, 2020


  Our sincerest condolences are extended to Mr. Gray's family and friends at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Lead, Kindly Light

Lyrics by John Henry Newman, 1833
Music by John B. Dykes, 1865

Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!

So long Thy power hath blessed me, sure it will,
Will lead me on.
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!

Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith,
Home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.

"Lead, Kindly Light" midi (MIDI sequence copyright © 2002 Brian M. Ames) and lyrics courtesy of - 12/20/04

  Downloadable Sheet Music (Craig Petrie's TTBB arrangement) available at - 01/01/04

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 01/27/05

Animated Navy Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Masonic Emblem courtesy of - 06/15/07

Shriners Logo courtesy of - 02/06/08

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

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