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1942 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Gray SKELTON Obituary
SKELTON, Jr., H. Gray Hamilton Gray Skelton, Jr., best known as Gray, went to be with his Savior and to rejoin his beloved wife Laurie on January 5, 2018. He was 75 years old. Gray was born on April 12, 1942, in Bristol, Virginia to Hamilton Gray Skelton, Sr. and Thelma Fleming Skelton. After settling in Decatur in 1944, Gray attended school in the City of Decatur until enrolling at the Westminster School, where he lettered in Baseball and Football, graduating in 1960. It was during his middle and high school years that Gray first picked up the guitar, which he only occasionally put down in the ensuing 60 years. Gray went to Vanderbilt University where he majored in Psychology and, by his own admission, minored in "Poker and Jack Daniels". Fortunately for him as well as the rest of us, he met Annie Laurie Webb during his senior year and the two were married on September 12, 1964, in Greenville, SC. They lived in Nashville while Laurie finished her degree and then moved back to the Atlanta area in 1965. Gray worked in insurance during this time while attending law school at Emory University. After graduating from Law School in 1968, Gray took a job at Hansell, Post, Brandon and Dorsey in Atlanta working for their Real Property division. It was the end of 1968 that saw his first child, Alexander Stephens, born. He soon moved out to the "country", signing on with the Marietta firm of Ingram, Flournoy and Cleveland to further pursue Real Property law. In 1971, a second son, John Hamilton, was born to Gray and Laurie, and in 1973 the family moved to Marietta. The family attended Mt. Zion UMC, and it was at a lay witness mission in May 1975 that Gray was born again in Christ. By that time, Gray had started his own real estate practice and also opened a motorcycle shop in Marietta to follow his passion for cycle racing and associating with what he affectionately called "scooter trash". In 1977, Gray's family again increased with the birth of his daughter Mary Caroline. Gray also worked on cars and developed a love for gardening and animals in the 1980s. In 1989, Gray took a position as an Assistant District Attorney in the Cherokee Judicial Circuit in Bartow and Gordon Counties. After 5 years there, Gray took a position with the Cobb County Attorney, where he rose from associate to Assistant County Attorney. Gray left the County Attorney to go back into private practice in 1997. In October 1999, he joined his son John to form Skelton & Skelton Attorneys. The two worked together for 8 years until Gray retired to take care of his wife Laurie. After she died in 2008, Gray took time to travel the world and participate in overseas ministries to Israel and Venezuela. He also took up motorcycling again and truly dedicated himself to gardening and making his yard a fine habitat for local bird but not squirrels! Gray was a friend to many and a stranger to no one. He enjoyed his Biscuit Biters at Chick-fil-A and the regulars at AJ's in East Cobb, and his love of music was one he shared with the Emmaus community, many retirement communities, and his annual impromptu Christmas guitar concerts around the Marietta Square and at bank drive-throughs. He perpetuated this love of music with his Tuesday Evening sing-alongs at his house in Indian Hills that continued until right before his final illness in November 2017. Gray is survived by his three children, Alexander Stephens Skelton, II, (Jennifer Heins Skelton) of Woodstock, GA, John Hamilton Skelton (Brooke Patterson Skelton) of Powder Springs, GA, Mary Caroline Skelton Martin (Gregg Thomas Martin) of Warrenton, VA, his two sisters, Ina Parks Skelton Howell of Miami Springs, FL and Madora Skelton Wright of Baltimore, MD, and five grandchildren, Alexander Hamilton Skelton, Eric William Skelton, Ethan Ashby Martin, Mia Caroline Martin and Cara Laurie Martin. A celebration service will be held Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 1:00 pm at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in the main sanctuary with a visitation/reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Gray's honor to Kitty Angel Rescue in Powder Springs or a charity such as Sweetwater Mission or MUST Ministries that helps widows and orphans, as that was something about which Gray felt strongly.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 10, 2018
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