Jean Gray passed away on July 26, 2018. She was born in Bassfield, Mississippi, April 29,1932, the daughter of Garland Smith and Tressie King Smith. She attended public schools in Ellisville, MS, and graduated from Jones County Junior College with a degree in Home Economics. Jean married Walter Benjamin ‘Ben’ Gray from Waynesboro, MS, in 1953. They would have celebrated 65 years of marriage this September.
Jean lived in Mississippi, Grand Isle, LA, New Orleans, LA, and moved to Pensacola, FL in 1973. She was a collector of friends here and in Western North Carolina where she and Ben had a summer home in Dillsboro, NC. Jean and Ben spent the 4th of July in those mountains with family and friends for 50 consecutive years, until her health declined in 2016.
Jean dearly loved her family and was an amazing wife and mother. She was an excellent cook-with the absolute best seafood gumbo and was an expert seamstress. Jean also enjoyed camping, painting, crafting and spending time in her yard and gardens.
Jean is survived by her beloved husband, Ben (Pensacola, FL) and daughters, Gayle Gray Atkinson and husband Jim (Pensacola, FL), and Carol Gray Whiting and husband Rod (Charleston, SC), as well as four grandchildren, Derek Atkinson and wife Christina (Pensacola, FL), Lesley Atkinson (Charlotte, NC), Gray Whiting (Panama City/Pensacola, FL), and Paige Whiting (Charleston, SC/Hattiesburg, MS). Her newest pride and joy was her 6-month old great- grandson, Watson Atkinson. Jean is also survived by her brother, Joseph Smith and wife, Pat (Clinton, MS), her sister, Gloria Boutwell (Prentiss, MS), four nieces and two nephews.
The family wishes to thank the many physicians and caregivers who provided such compassionate care.