Dr. Winston Grant Gray peacefully passed away in New Orleans, on Monday, September 9, 2013, after a long and boisterous life. Winston was born in Belzoni, Mississippi, August 20, 1931. He was 82 years old. He is survived by his son Stephen Grant Gray, daughter-in-law Donna Gray, daughter Paula Kathleen Gray and her partner Elizabeth Jane Lee, along with grandchildren Logan Grant Gray, 27, Jared Henry Gray, 24, Emmett Charles Graylee, 10, and Mirai Llvene Danielle Graylee, 3. He is preceded in death by his wife and mother of his children, Helen Hubert Gray. Winston studied at Delta State Teacher's College, San Francisco State University, the University of Texas, ultimately receiving his doctorate degree from the University of Utah. Winston was active in the performing arts his entire life as a dancer, actor, instructor, director, choreographer, and critic. In later years, he also engaged in philanthropy in support of the arts. Over the course of his career, Winston inspired students throughout the United States as an instructor and performer in varied productions, including summer-stock performances, student performances, and performances for the armed forces and United Service Organizations (USO). Even after retiring, Winston stayed involved by participating in productions of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Sunshine Boys in local productions in New Orleans. He retired from San Francisco to the French Quarter and became a Quarter Icon. He was an unyielding voice for equality and tolerance--a staunch Democrat was a connoisseur of fine foods, good scotch and tequila, as well as old movies. He enjoyed his daily get together with friends at his favorite neighborhood bar. He will be kindly remembered by all whose life he touched. A memorial is being planned to celebrate his life and to share memories of him. Plans will be forthcoming. Proceeds to benefit The Winston Gray Memorial Foundation for the Performing Arts. To view and sign the family guestbook, please visit lakelawnmetairie.com.
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Published in The New Orleans Advocate from Sept. 12 to Sept. 15, 2013