Birth Date: 02/20/1947
Deceased Date: 01/23/2021
William “Bill” Miller Gray, age 73, went home to be with the Lord on January 23, 2021. Bill was born on February 20, 1947 in LaGrange, North Carolina to the late William Bruce Gray and Tessie Thompson Gray Rouse. He attended New Hope High School and worked on the family farm during his youth. He also played basketball in high school.
Following high school, Bill led a successful career with Southern Bell Telephone Company/ BellSouth Telecommunications where he started as a frame man in Raleigh and then transferred back to Goldsboro as a Toll Testboard man and was promoted to Toll Testboard Foreman. He was later promoted into the roles of Network Supervisor, followed by Assistant Manager. In 1990, he transferred back to Raleigh as Assistant Manager and then became the Supervisor of COM. He retired in 1996 after 31 years of devoted service. Following retirement, he worked for Midway Airlines, Home Depot, O’Reilly Autoparts, Leith Toyota and other surrounding dealerships.
Bill met the love of his life, Diane, at Southern Bell in the early 80’s and they married on February 18, 1983. Bill and Diane enjoyed travelling together, attending church, completing home projects, and spending time with family. Bill loved to golf, fish, work in his workshop, drive cars for the dealerships, and spend time with his grandchildren. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, “Papa”/ “Granddaddy Bill” and friend.
Bill was a member of Pineview Baptist Church in Goldsboro, where he served as a Sunday School Teacher, Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee, and deacon, prior to moving to Raleigh. He then became a devoted member of Friendship Baptist Church for 36 years where he rotated as an usher. He was a devout Christian man with a love for others and a servant’s heart. He loved to help neighbors, friends, and family with handyman/ home projects in any way that he could.
Surviving are his wife of 37 years, Diane Tyner Ward Gray; son, William Randall Gray and wife Jan of New Bern; son, Steven Christopher Gray and wife Leslie of Dacula, GA; daughter, Ashley Ward McLaughlin and husband Chris of Rolesville; brother, John Alec Gray and wife Rebecca of LaGrange; brother, Bobby William Gray and wife Jeannie of Raleigh; brother, Willie Dwight Gray of LaGrange; sister, Annie Bruce Gray Newcomb of LaGrange; step-sister, Edna Rouse Winstead of Wilson; step-sister, Louise Rouse Farmer of Wilson; 8 grandchildren, Blake Christopher Gray and wife Abbey, Brooke Taylor Gray, Alexandra Morgan Gray, Austin Tucker Gray, Sophia Quinn Gray, William Reese Gray, Ty Christopher McLaughlin, and Trevor Ashton McLaughlin.
He is preceded in death by his father, William Bruce Gray and mother, Tessie Thompson Gray Rouse; stepfather, Troy Rouse; and daughter, Amanda Dawn Gray.
The family will receive visitors from 11 AM – 1 PM on Saturday, January 30 at Friendship Baptist Church in Raleigh immediately followed by a funeral service at 1pm. Burial will follow in the Creech Family Cemetery in Smithfield.
In light of current COVID-19 concerns, the family respectfully requests that you honor social distancing and mask/ safety policies during the service and visitation.
Flowers are acceptable or memorials/donations may be made to Friendship Baptist Church, 5510 Falls of the Neuse Road, Raleigh, NC 27609 or Transitions Lifecare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at Parrishfh.com