Obituaries » Robert Earl Gray

March 12, 1939 - May 14, 2017

Service Date: May 22, 2017


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Robert Earl Gray

March 12, 1939 – May 14, 2017

Robert “Bobby” Earl Gray, 78 of Wilson passed away Sunday, May 14, 2017. He was a quiet man and a free spirit. Bobby lived out his faith through his strong community focus and heart for helping others. He was truly a servant leader. A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 22, at First Christian Church, 207 Tarboro Street, Wilson, with the family receiving friends following the service. The Rev. Gary Walling will officiate.

He was born in Kinston, spent his formative years in Jones County, and attended Jones Central High in Trenton. Later his family moved to Wilson where he graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in 1957. He graduated from Atlantic Christian College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business. While a student at ACC, he participated in cross-country under Coach Earl Coker.

Bobby retired from the US Postal Service after 32 years. He also served in the North Carolina National Guard and US Army Reserve for a combined 43 years. Bobby was a past president of the Civitan Club of Wilson and a member of the Loyal Order of Moose. As an Adult leader with the Boy Scouts, he participated as an Assistant Scoutmaster and member of the Order of The Arrow and attended national level training at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He was a member of First Christian Church for over 50 years where he served as Sunday school teacher, Nursery attendant, Deacon, Elder, and Chairman of the Buildings and Properties Committee.

Bobby is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary Louise Gray; his three sons, Robert Gray and wife, Karen of Madison, Cleveland Gray and wife, Fran, and their children, Abigail, Ashley, and Isabel of Jacksonville, Florida, and Neil Gray and his children, Simon, Veronica, Charlie, Noah, and Sam all of Pittsboro. In addition, Bobby is survived by his two siblings, John Wesley “J.W.” Gray and wife, Gloria of Walkersville, Maryland, and Rosa “Rose” Ann Gray Morris and husband, Delma of Stella.

In retirement, he traveled the world with the Friendship Force International visiting Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, Greece, Turkey, Machu Picchu, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, and many European countries. Bobby and Mary Louise have hosted families from Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Turkey. He also loved meeting out of town travelers while he worked part time at Cracker Barrel for 17 years. Bobby enjoyed helping Mabel Whitley at the Jarman House for 20 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials in Bobby’s memory to First Christian Church, PO Box 2702, Wilson, North Carolina 27894 or to the Hope Station, PO Box 2164, Wilson, North Carolina 27894.

Condolences may be directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home at


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