Gastonia (North Carolina) native, Thomas Alexander “Alex” Gray, 73, passed away around Easter at his home on Kiawah Island, S.C. of natural causes. There will be a Memorial Service for family and friends at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 6th at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1201 South New Hope Road, Gastonia, NC, with a visitation immediately following. An informal memorial gathering will be held later in May for friends in Charleston; details will be released once they are finalized.
Alex was born on May 10, 1943 in Gastonia, N.C. to the late Charles Dowd Gray, Jr and Margaret Louise Spurrier Gray. Alex graduated from Ashley High School in Gastonia, NC in 1961. He attended UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the PKA fraternity. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Greensboro College.
Alex followed his families’ textile legacy and spent many years as a cotton broker and V.P. at Gray and Daniel, Inc in Gastonia. He was a member of the Gaston Cotton Association, Rotary Club, and served as Chairman on the board of the local Red Cross. After the dissolution of Gray and Daniel, Alex worked independently in real estate and investments before eventually relocating to Seabrook Island, SC. There he was able to start American Yacht Sales, fulfilling a long-time dream of working in boating and living near the sea.
Alex had many hobbies and interests, including golf, boating, music, shortwave radio, the mountains, firearms, and cooking, to name a few. While more of a social event than a competitive sport, Alex loved to bond with his son and friends on the golf courses at Gaston CC, Linville, and Kiawah. He was passionate about history, Gastonia history in particular, and enjoyed sharing colorful stories and trivia about the hometown that he loved. Alex cherished his family, friends and his faith. He was involved at every church that he attended, but especially at All Saints Episcopal, where he served several positions, including Deacon, as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Western N.C.
Alex was predeceased by his father, Charles Dowd Gray, Jr, his mother, Margaret Louise Spurrier Gray, and his sister, Margaret Gray Wiser. He is survived by his brother, Charles Dowd Gray III, his daughter, Frances Louise Gray Watson, his son, Thomas Alexander Gray Jr, and his daughter-in-law, Angela Bender Gray. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Robert Mack Watson III, Zachary Gray Watson, Thomas Alexander Gray III, Lillian Wetherington Gray, and Katherine Alexandra Gray and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation at www.jdrf.org or the Robin Johnson House at https://secure.gastonhospice.org/donate/.