Edna P Gray
November 6, 1936 – October 1, 2019
Edna Bolt Peacock Gray was born at Piedmont Hospital Atlanta on November 6, 1936 to Ben Peacock and Edna Bolt Peacock. The family, which by now included little sisters Cornelia and Estelle, moved to Washington DC during WWII. Edna was a sickly child, she contracted almost every known childhood ailment and missed a lot of school. However, she had a great memory. To show how much she learned despite her absences, she recited the entire school play – loudly - from the stage during the main performance. Her mom may have been mortified, but this was an early demonstration of Edna’s determination to keep learning and get the job done. Throughout her life, Edna lived by these words: Put God first and everything will follow. Growing up in a multi-generational household surrounded by strong Christians, she had great role models of faith and service to others. These became the pillars on which she built the life that we celebrate today. Back in Atlanta after the war, mom settled into school life, first at Morningside Elementary School then at Grady High. First Baptist Church became her church home, where she made many life-long friends. Getting along with people of different faiths was easy for her, in school she had been exposed to different religions. In teaching mainly African American children for church mission work and later befriending them caused confusion about why there were different water fountains and seating arrangements on the bus. When it was time for college, she chose Tift College in Forsyth. Given her outgoing personality and way with people, it’s no surprise that she was elected freshman class president. After that, she followed her boyfriend west. She transferred to Baylor University in Waco Texas, where her accent got a lot of attention, they thought she talked funny. There she learned that fair is not always the way it should be, by having professors to lower her grades to help future med students keep theirs. She also saw pure hatred when the multiracial child she was teaching was threatened with violence, this occurrence chilled her for many years Although the boyfriend didn’t last, Mom’s life-long love of all things Baylor did. Her growth as a Christian and the many friends she made on-campus and off made it clear that she was in the right place. Baylor is where she learned to play the organ - thanks to her strong background from Miss Naina's teaching. Biology was her favorite class and influenced her later career. Singing – anywhere and everywhere – was a joy that Mr. Smathers instilled. After Baylor she returned to Atlanta, where she completed her medical technologist training at Emory. She was a phenomenal phlebotomist and well known for her ouchless sticks! She landed a great job at Piedmont. All the while, First Baptist Atlanta was her church home. Soon, the training union teachers spotted a match making opportunity, and placed her with a baritone named Jim Gray. His voice made her swoon. Her piano playing had the same effect on him. To no one’s surprise, an engagement soon followed. During their 29 years of marriage, Edna and Jim shared a love of God, of church service, boys camp, classical music and their three children. Edna Gray Farrar and twins Jim and Ben Gray. Church was a key part of family life, first at Briarcliff Baptist Church and later at Briarlake Baptist Church. Edna’s love of the armed forces and veterans led her to a career at the Decatur VA hospital. She retired as the supervisor of the hematology lab. Although her sons opted to attend UGA, Edna remained a stalwart Georgia Tech fan. Ironically the last song she could remember how to play on the piano was, Glory Hallelujah, the UGA fight song. After Jim’s heart attack and her mother's death, Briarlake because Edna’s home away from home. The choir and children’s ministries were her special callings. She spent hours on end with her Sisters Carol Stowe and Dot Poole planning and teaching third grade Sunday School. Vacation Bible School and mission trips, traveling to Europe and Israel – no matter where she was, she built her life on love of Christ and service to others. From marshalling the flag parade for Mission offerings to singing in the choir to helping out behind the scenes, she served with devotion. Also any WMU job that she offered she took. Although she did not get to spend much time with her grandchildren she loved and adored them. Although Alzheimer’s took so much, it couldn’t take her sweet spirt. When she was living in an assisted living facility the staff and residents loved her sweet nature. Throughout the long road, she faced her struggle with faith and grace. As she took her last breath, a piano version of “Holy, Holy, Holy” was ending. Then God gently took his daughter home. Funeral Services will be at HM Patterson and Son Spring Hill on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 3:00 pm, starting with visitation at 2:00 pm. Burial Service will be at Westview Cemetery Monday, October 7,2019 at 11:00 In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Briarlake Baptist Church or to the Alzheimers Association.
- Visitation Sunday, October 6, 2019
- Funeral Service Sunday, October 6, 2019
- Reception Sunday, October 6, 2019
- Graveside Service Monday, October 7, 2019
IN THE CARE OF