OBITUARY

Grayson McCleish Ward

July 6, 1988October 5, 2021

Grayson McCleish Ward, a native of Baton Rouge and a resident of Mandeville, passed away on Tuesday October 5, 2021 at the age of 33. Gray was born to Aub and Frances Ward and was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gray was a graduate of the University Laboratory School where he was Student Body president his junior year and self-appointed varsity soccer club manager, though he staged action photos of himself scoring a goal so he could be featured on the team poster. He graduated from Louisiana State University after attending the University of Mississippi and Baton Rouge Community College. This world has been around for billions of years, but there is no greater blessing than to have lived at the same time as Gray Ward. He was an original, truly one of a kind. Gray was the center of everyone’s universe. Not because he was the funniest person on the planet (and he was) or that he had higher leg kicks than the Russian ballet, but because Gray made even the smallest moments in life the best parts of our day. He was goofy and kind beyond measure. He entered every room like Kramer, but Gray lived a life - with so much life - that it was meant to be shared for the rest of us. He unapologetically packed more into his time on earth than most would’ve given in 300 years. Gray was everyone’s favorite person. He was everybody’s best friend, and he gave us more joy than we could ever ask for. Gray’s selfless way of living extended into the kitchen where he was an excellent cook. His favorite thing in the world was to prepare large quantities of food for his friends and drop them off at their homes, unannounced. And for every newborn baby in Louisiana, Gray loved to deliver his proprietary, home-cooked “baby pasta” to brand new parents. Gray was a tremendously gifted writer and actor, and his movies played all over the country. He wrote, produced and starred-in two comedy features, Father-Like Son and The Bobcat Boys, through his production company Abby Normal Pictures with his friends, Mac Alsfeld and Andrew Megison. No one was funnier than Gray. He then began work as an accountant on numerous films shot in and around his favorite city of New Orleans. He is survived by his mother Frances Smith Ward, his father Aub Ward and step-mother Jennifer, brother Taylor Ward and step-siblings Henry and Abe Kantrow. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Malcolm Ward, Jean Atkins Ward, Jack L. Smith, Alice Smith, aunt Pamela Medak Smith, and Cousin Lance Ward. Honorary pallbearers will be Perry Smith, Zach Smith, Charlie and Ben Provenza, Sam Cartledge, Mac Alsfeld, Michael Gvoich, Adam Keyes, Andrew Megison, Lon and Max Marchand and his cousin Aub Ward. A service will be held on Monday October 11th at Grace Episcopal Church in Saint Francisville at 2PM, followed by a celebration of Gray’s life at the home of David and Jeri Kelly, 1265 Stanford Ave at 3:30PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Gray’ s honor to your local animal humane society.

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Grayson McCleish Ward

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