Published 7:01 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Mrs. Margaret Gray entered into eternal rest peacefully on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, at the age of 78 in Portsmouth. She was preceded in death by her husband of 33 years, Willie Taft Gray, and parents, Salone Clary and Inez Harris Clary.
Margaret was well known for her love of music and began her study of piano at the age of five. Margaret’s mother, Inez Clary, provided daily piano lessons to Margaret and her brother, Salone, from the age of five through college. Margaret grew up in the Mount Hermon area of Portsmouth, and was a 1958 graduate of I.C. Norcom High School where she played clarinet in the band. Margaret continued her formal education at Virginia State College (Norfolk Division) where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in music education in 1962. She also earned a Master of Education degree in music education in 1975 from Virginia State College (University). Amazingly, Margaret and her mother Inez were able to graduate and complete their senior recitals together for both their bachelors and masters degrees.
This outstanding musician retired from the Norfolk City Public Schools in 1999, after 38 years as a successful teacher and supervisor of music teachers during her last year of employment. Margaret received several awards including the Black Educators Award, Delicados Inc. and the Apple for the Teacher Award. She was a lifetime member of Mount Hermon Baptist Temple (Portsmouth) where she taught music during Vacation Bible School each year. She was also a faithful member of the Gamma Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in Portsmouth Virginia where she led the Chapter’s music ensemble for many years. She served for over 50 years and was a Golden Soror.
Affectionately known as “Sister” to her family and friends, Margaret is survived by her loving son, Wendell Marcus Gray (Seron) and her devoted daughter, Wendy Michele Gray VanHosen (Harry); grandsons Wendell M. Gray II, Lawrence D. Smith Jr., Lance M. Smith and Lawson T. Smith; brother, Salone T. Clary Sr. (Carolyn); uncle, Dr. James A. Harris Sr. (Ursula); aunt, Sammie J. Harris (Charles, deceased); brothers-in-law, James H. Gray Jr., Earl S. Gray Sr. (Gloria); sister-in-law, Joyce Gray Brown and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Her funeral was held on Jan. 5, 2019 at Mt. Hermon Baptist Temple in Portsmouth, with her burial at Roosevelt Memorial Park in Chesapeake.