Mr. H. Reginald Gray, 89, died Sunday April 6, 2014. The funeral service will be conducted on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel by the Rev. Bill Sherman and the Rev. Karen Crutchfield. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery with Masonic Rites and Military Honors. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 12:30 to 2 p.m. prior to the service.
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He was preceded in death by his parents John Ira Gray and Blanche Congleton Gray; and his beloved wife of 61 years, Ellen Barnhill Gray.
He is survived by his: son, Rodney E. Gray and wife, Donna, of Wilson; daughter, Janet Gray Clark and husband, Bob, of Waynesville; granddaughter, Lauren H. Gray of Chapel Hill; brothers, John Ira Gray II and wife, Kay, of Richmond and Graham B. Gray and wife, Brenda, of Raleigh; brother-in-law, Edward Mooring of LaGrange; and a number of loved nieces and nephews.
Mr. Gray, a native of Stokes, attended Atlantic Christian College prior to joining the Army Air Corps during WWII. After the end of the war, he continued his education at UNC-CH where he graduated with a BS in Accounting. He was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
In The Army Air Corps, he graduated from Aviation Cadet School as a pilot in 1943 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He was assigned to the 8th Air Force, 384th Bomb group, and 544th Bomb Squadron. He flew 33 missions over Germany with his group dropping the last bombs of WWII in 1945. Discharged as a First Lieutenant, he was awarded a number of medals including the Four Oak Leaf Clusters, The Bronze Stars, The American Campaign, WWII Victory and the Presidential Unit Citation.
His career started with Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., and he retired as County Manager in Pitt County in 1986 after serving the county for 33 years. During his career with Pitt County, he also served as County Auditor, Tax Supervisor and Disbursing Agent for the ABC Board.
While employed with Pitt County, he directed the first professional tax revaluation in 1954. He was a leader in the consolidation of the thirteen special school districts which resulted in a more equitable education for all children. He was the first in the state to get approval from the State Local Government Commission and the General Assembly to invest current county funds. He was also involved in investing the funds for the development of the new Pitt County Memorial Hospital. He was a past president of the North Carolina County Finance Officer Association and life member of the North Carolina City and County Managers Association.
He was an active Civic leader having served in a number of official positions. The organizations included Greenville Host Lions Club, Greenville Moose Lodge, Greenville Chamber of Commerce, and Crown Point Lodge 708 A.F. & A.M. He was a member of Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cypress Glen Retirement Community, Benevolent Care Fund, 100 Hickory Street, Greenville, NC 27858.
Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com.
Wilkerson Funeral Home and Crematory
2100 East Fifth Street
Greenville, NC 27858
Published in The Daily Reflector on Apr. 10, 2014