August 5, 2019 Retta Wilson Gray, 87, died Monday, August 5 at Homestead Hills following complications from a chronic illness. She leaves her former husband, Charles Gray of Lewisville; her son James Gray and his wife JoAnne Gray of Winston-Salem; her son Jonathan Gray and his husband Craig Gingrich-Philbrook of Makanda, IL; her daughter-in-law Becky Gray of Cary, the wife of her son Joseph Gray who preceded her in death; her granddaughter Jennifer Gray and her mother Debbie Pernell of Raleigh, grandson Joshua Gray and his wife Amy Gray of Matthews, and granddaughter Mary Allison Gray of Winston-Salem. Born and raised in Savannah, GA, the daughter of Viola Ward Wilson and Elzie Thomas Wilson, she moved to North Carolina in 1966, and settled in Winston-Salem in 1969. She also lived in Greensboro from 1994 to 2013, before moving back to Winston-Salem. In her early years, Ms. Gray taught English at Englewood High School in Jacksonville, FL. She later earned her master's degree at Appalachian State University and taught at Forsyth Technical Community College. At Forsyth Tech, she particularly enjoyed being the faculty advisor for the literary magazine, TechTalk. She was an active member of the Winston-Salem chapter of PFLAG and founded the Greensboro chapter when she moved there. Ms. Gray was a powerful advocate for the community and pursued a life of activism and support for many social causes. She especially cared for animals and environmental protection as well as LGBT rights. She was a lover of fine art, literature, classical music and theatre. Her family will hold a private service in her memory. In lieu of flowers, and in the spirit of her commitments, a donation in her name to a charity of choice is preferred. Ms. Gray particularly supported the following charities: The Audubon Society, The Humane Society, and the PFLAG Carter Stroupe Memorial Scholarship fund. Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services of Greensboro is assisting the family.
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