Marion "Jim" Gray
October 1, 1945 – May 4, 2020
Marion "Jim" Gray, car enthusiast, joke teller, competitive card player, the guy everyone liked, died Monday, May 4th, 2020. He was taken too early at age 74 by a cancer that was as quick as the cars he drove. He had a life-long love affair with peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches along with vienna sausages and the occasional bag of stale candy. Jim never met a jelly bean he didn't like.
The women in his life were numerous. He particularly fancied confident women who liked to listen to his jokes while cruising to as many car events as humanly possible. He married a spunky long-haired girl from the Delta in May of '72, Carolyn (Nash) Gray. After 40 years filled with love, family vacations, a lot of laughs, and enough cars to fill up a dealership, he lost her to cancer. Jim and Carolyn are survived by two daughters who kept them busy and entertained, Leah Gray of Jackson, TN and Tina Meyer (Jeremy) of Mansfield, TX.
Jim was able to find love again at the well-known hot spot Cracker Barrel in Pearl, MS. He met a green eyed beauty, Sherry (Janice Harrell), and was determined to call her "Sweetie" for the remainder of his life. They married in October of 2015 and he called her “Sweetie” until he left this earth.
He retired from Eaton/Vickers and Parker Hannifan after several years of service. He was seen as a mentor, friend, and hard worker. After retirement, Jim referred to himself as a “free spirit” and kept busy. His favorite saying was “a rolling stone gathers no moss.”
Whether it was taking a trash can and making it an ice chest for Cruisin’ the Coast or duck taping the head liner in a car so it wouldn’t droop- he was a true engineer and took every opportunity to make something out of nothing.
He taught his daughters the 3 liquids to make a car run and the subtle differences between a 66 and 67 Mustang. He instilled a work ethic that he knew was important to make it in life and be successful.
He had four grandchildren who loved their Granddaddy,Gray and Stella Meyer (Tina and Jeremy),
Alex and Kate Gray (Leah). They knew they could count on Granddaddy to always be fun. He provided entertainment on family vacations by pushing others out of the way to get on a ride first and demanding to take inflatables out to the beach to also “ride”.
Above all, he was a Christian and loved God and his church family at Siwell Road Church of Christ.
Memories of Jim will always include his love for his family, cars, and music. To know him was to love him. He will be greatly missed.
Marion "Jim" Gray
May 9, 2020
Uncle Jim came up to Nashville for the Chevellebration (big Chevelle show) and invited me to go with him. We looked at most every car there, and there were hundreds. When we were done, I asked him which one he'd choose if he could pick any of them. He walked me back over to a plain, older, unmodified car that had no obvious reason to catch my eye. He explained that it was the rarest car there, and how its production led to everything else we'd seen. Other attendees seemed to be overlooking it too.
I read later that week that it sold for $295,000.
Erin and Bonnie McAfee
May 6, 2020
We are going to miss Jim Gray coming to the shop talking, telling jokes, and showing off all his cars he owned. And Thursday around the shop was "question day" . He usually had a mechanical question for Erin. Jim was a great person and friend. He loved his family very much. Spoke of his grandchildren quiet often to us. May God be with Sherry, Tina and her family during this loss.
Erin, Bonnie, Ashley and Joe McAfee
May 6, 2020
We are so so sorry. Am praying. He was such a great devoted Christian and a great dad, husband and grandfather. He will be missed. Love, Jimmy and Cindy Vest and Laura Brannon
May 5, 2020
Too many memories with this guy from high school until now. Jim loved classic cars and was very, very knowledgeable about everything that makes them work. When I retired and let Jim know I was in the market for an old car within no time he found what I wanted called me and said I will bring my trailer and we will go get it. I said ok and yes we went to Chattanooga TN and got it. I will see you later!
Thanks Jim! Wayne Lowery