Community parade loses matriarch

Terry RogersHeadlines, In Memoriam, Milford Headline Story

Marie Jo Gray

Milford is saddened by the loss of Marie Jo Gray whose family has been heavily involved in the Milford Community Parade for years. Gray passed away suddenly on June 16, 2024, of cardiac arrest at the age of 85.

“I’m sad to share my mother’s passing early Sunday morning,” Charles Gray posted on social media. “Those that knew her, knew her heart was worn on her sleeve and shared a smile always. She was the rock in our family and would go far and wide for her children and grandchildren.”

Gray was self-employed, selling Avon, Mia Bella Candles and Tupperware. Previously, she worked in Smyrna at Leeds Travelwear. She was a familiar face at the Milford Skating Rink snack bar where the kids all knew her as “Mrs. Gray.” She served as an officer for the Milford Community Parade for 40 years. Her favorite pastime was playing cards on the weekends with her adult children and the laughs they had doing that was one of her favorite pasttimes. Friends and family expressed their condolences to the Gray family.

“I’m lost for words. Still in a shock about the loss to the family and our community. Marie Jo was a wonderful, awesome. amazing lady. A hard worker. A wife. Mother., grandmother and best friend anyone could have,” Nancy Betts said. “She actually made you feel like “family”. Always had a smile and a kind word for whom ever passed through her life. My deepest condolences to the whole family. I was honored to know and have done many things with her for our children in school, on committees, etc. Love and prayers for each of you. Marie Jo, may you rest in peace after all your life events here. Say hello to my mom . God bless each of the family and many, many others who have passed through your life! You will be missed immensely and thank God for memories”

Melody Mackert posted on social media that Gray’s “smile lit up a room.” Sarah Jones commented that they would miss seeing her face at the parade. Sue Lindale called her one of the sweetest people she had ever met. Many remembered her from the snack bar.

“Deepest sympathy, love, prayers and hugs to all of you,” Robin Lynn Ness said. “She truly was a special lady. The world needs more ladies like your Mom. A rare gem indeed. So sorry to hear.”

Gray was preceded in death by her mother, Stella Ludwig, her son, Gerald, and her daughter-in-law, Mary. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, James, her sister, Connie Bennett, daughters, Carmen Kemper and her husband, Bobby; Gaye Hamilton and her husband, Scott, as well as a son, Charles. She had 12 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. Burial will be private.

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