JASPER, Ga. — Jean Gray lived the life that you would expect from someone born on New Year’s Day. Adventurous, spirited, witty, faithful and dynamic, she got all she could out of a life very well lived.

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Harold and Julia Kimball, she called Colonial Heights, Virginia, home for her early years. After graduating from Mary Washington College, she married Sam Gray in 1954 and the adventures began. Living in Arkansas, Kansas, and Tennessee, she taught school and piano. Finally settling in Mayfield, around 1961, she joined First Baptist Church. Musically gifted, Jean was the church organist for many years, as well as the impetus behind both the adult and youth handbell choirs. She also started the kindergarten program and became Miss Jean to a generation of children. Her children (Ashley, Leslie, and Kim) were known to say that she practically lived at the church. In her spare time, she taught piano, played tennis (wicked backhand), learned golf and had a fourth child Tracey.

Empty nesting brought a variety of changes for Jean. She fulfilled a life-long dream when she built a house on Kentucky Lake that included the much-used screen porch and library for her mystery novels. While meeting new best friends and giving her much loved dogs room to run, she began a fully involved life in Murray, Kentucky, trading in her Baptist roots for St. John’s Episcopal Church. She became fully immersed in a robust tennis schedule, and developed a love of travel from the Galapagos Islands to the Holy Land. There was no place she didn’t want to see. During this time, she was proud to complete the Education for Ministry (EFM) certificate program at St. John’s. Jean was also passionate about helping her grandchildren find and afford their college choices encouraging them from Freshmen Orientation to Graduation. Her legacy to them will be a love of learning, reading, music and self-improvement.

The last leg of her journey was moving to the north Georgia Mountains on her 80th birthday where she once again instilled herself into the heart of the community. She became fully involved in Holy Family Episcopal Church, handbells at Big Canoe Chapel, and continued her travel schedule. She was recognizable around Big Canoe in her bright, red convertible.

Jean Gray entered the gates of heaven and was met by Jesus in the early hours of January 11th. She was joyfully reunited with her parents and youngest daughter Tracey Lynne Gray, who preceded her in death. She is survived by a large and loving family which includes daughter, Ashley Blalock (Bobby) and her daughters Nicole Duncan (Justin), Katie Matheny, and Amber Matheny; daughter, Leslie Grogan (Randy) and her daughter Annelise Wilson (Heath); and son, Kim Gray (Linda) and his three children Erin Thorn, Justin Gray (Megan), and Jeremy Gray (Rebecca). Between her three surviving children and seven grandchildren, there are nine great-grandchildren, all lovingly represented in dozens of framed photos around her room.

Her wishes are to be buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield, Kentucky. Private graveside services will be held on Saturday, January 22, 2022. On Saturday, March 19, 2022, a Memorial Service will be held at Holy Family Episcopal Church in Jasper. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Holy Family Episcopal Church, 202 Griffith Rd., Jasper GA, 30143 or Big Canoe Animal Rescue, 10676 Big Canoe, Big Canoe,

GA 30143.