George W. Grayson
Nelsen Funeral Home - Williamsburg
3785 Strawberry Plains Rd.
Williamsburg, VA
WILLIAMSBURG - George W. Grayson, 76, a longtime representative of the Historic Triangle in the House of Delegates and a retired College of William & Mary professor, passed away on March 4, 2015. Dr. Grayson was the Class of 1938 Professor of Government Emeritus at the College of William & Mary, and had made more than 200 research trips to Latin America. In addition, he was a senior associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a board member at the Center for Immigration Studies, and a life member of the NAACP. Dr. Grayson lectured regularly at the U.S. Department of State, the National Defense University, U.S. intelligence agencies, and at universities in the United States and Mexico. He had served as an official observer at six Mexican presidential and gubernatorial elections, belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, and has authored numerous books and articles. He held degrees from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (BA); The Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (M.A.; Ph.D.); and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law (J.D.). He had also written op-ed pieces for virtually every major newspaper in the United States. In his spare time, he greatly enjoyed tennis. Dr. Grayson is survived by his loving wife, Bryan H. Grayson; son, Thomas Keller Grayson; daughter, Gisele Grayson (Jon Hamilton); stepdaughters, Emily Upchurch (Tim) and Rebecca Owen (Joshua); grandchildren, Jake and Will Hamilton, Grady and Liza Upchurch, and Maggie and Ruth Owen; aunt, Margaret G. Saunders of Warrenton, VA; and mother-in-law, Mary B. Holt of Wrightsville Beach, NC. His parents, George W. Grayson Sr. and Catherine Hart Grayson, preceded him in death. Friends will gather to remember Dr. Grayson on Friday, March 6 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg. The Government Department of the College of William & Mary will hold a service of remembrance during the afternoon of March 20, time and place to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Humane Society, 430 Waller Mill Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185. Online condolences may be offered to the family at
Published by Virginia Gazette on Mar. 6, 2015.
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27 Entries
George was a humorous and kind man.Iam so happy for his friendship and enjoyed playing Tennis with him.Miss him dearly.
George Mathew
February 26, 2019
The Grayson Family:

I was saddened to just hear about the passing of Dr. Grayson. Dr. Grayson was a highly respected educator and a respected colleague.

You have my deepest sympathies.

Al DeAmicis
October 30, 2017
There's no such place as far away... You are missed and you were a tremendous educator and, in an odd way, b/c kindness isn't always the best were kind. Now there's a reason to be bored and we can all yawn... ;) Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha! And God bless!
R Brown
February 16, 2017
He was the personification of brilliance, fairness and love of his fellow man.
The family of the late Rev. Dr. Junius H. Moody sends our sincerest condolences to the family of our good friend, Dr. Grayson. We are truly grateful for his service to our community but also for his friendship and acknowledgement of our father and grandfather, Rev. Moody, in particular. Our lives have been touched and made the better by knowing a man of his caliber.

Deirdre Rainey Accornero, Stamford, Ct.
March 19, 2015
Though I've never met George, Bryan has been a dear friend of mine for as long as I can remember. From what I've read and from what Bryan has said, I know George was special in so many ways and he will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Connie Schor
March 18, 2015
George will be missed we had been good friend since high school in the 1950's. He always went out of his ways to help people.
Robert Raybold
March 13, 2015
I knew George from Mount Vernon High School and in Williamsburg where my wife Pat and I lived for over thirty years. To read that George has passed away is so sad and such a shock. I was in Mount Vernon HS Class of 1954 so we met for social events while in High School, later at The College of William & Mary when I taught a Master's Course in Early Virginia History, and at two MVHS class of 56 reunions. Pat and I send our sincere condolences to George's wife, children, and all of George's other family members during this time of deep sadness and sorrow. Bill and Pat Wilson, East Boothbay,,Maine
March 13, 2015
George was my best friend even though we only met about a year ago. I knew from the first meeting that he was a very special human being. He and I enjoyed discussing everything from politics, current events, and sports. We also exchanged personal information and realized that we were kindred spirits of sorts.

I loved George deeply and will always treasure and remember the time we spent together.
Mark Yeatts
March 12, 2015
May he rest in peace, for it was that he wanted for all.
Nemely Hendrick
March 11, 2015
George Grayson was a man of parts. A prolific scholar, he had the ability to write with clarity and depth about complex topics. He had the strength of his conviction, and was a loyal friend. What we shall miss the most is his impish smile and delightful sense of humor. We hold his family in our prayers
Roger Conner
March 9, 2015
I, the daughter of the late Rev James B Tabb Sr, was not aware of Mr. Grayson's death until today which saddens me because I would have been present at the services for such a great man, who was truly a friend of my father, and very instrumental in his life and the community, seeking the best for people, no matter the race or ethnic background. Mr. Grayson has left a great legacy behind for others to follow. I say to his wife and family members, be encouraged because Mr. Grayson has lived a good life, now he has gone to a better life. Always cherish the precious memories that will never be forgotten.
Maria Tabb-Norman
March 9, 2015
It was a terrible blow to learn of George's death. For twenty five years George was a board member at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) where I've worked for nearly a decade. A mentor and dear friend, George was a man of immense learning and keen insightfulness. He was also profoundly humane. Intellectually distinguished, genteel and elegant in manner, he was also modest, warm, kind, and marvelously witty. It was always a joy to see him. I cannot imagine future meetings of the board and staff without him. The world is colder with George's death. We've lost a splendid man. My deepest condolences go to his wonderful wife Bryan, his family, colleagues, and many friends. I will never forget him, and I will miss him very much.
Dr. Stephen Steinlight
March 9, 2015
George's service on the Board of Directors was instrumental to the growth and success of the Center for Immigration Studies. He joined in 1986, shortly after the Center's founding, and his unmatched knowledge of Mexico - and his long experience in practical politics - informed our deliberations and our scholarship. And more than that, he was a delight to be with (all the more delightful when Bryan accompanied him).

George's combination of humor with deep seriousness of purpose, of academic inquiry with real-world application, is irreplaceable.

From the Board and staff of the Center for Immigration Studies, our condolences to George's family.
March 9, 2015
From the Admin, Reporters, Forum Posters, and Readers of Borderland Beat. We would like to express our sadness and profond and deep condolences to the Family of Mr Grayson. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the Mexican situation served as an example and inspiration to many of us.
Spike @ Borderland Beat
March 9, 2015
From all the Admin, Reporters, Forum Posters and readers of Borderland Beat, we would like express our sadness, and deepest condolences to the Family of Mr Grayson. He was held in high regard, his enthusiasm and knowledge of the current situation in Mexico, has inspired many of us.
Spike @ Borderland Beat
March 9, 2015
George inspired not only respect for his accomplishments as a scholar and political figure but also affection for grace and humanity and humor. I have long been inspired by his goodness and his intellectual integrity. I will miss him greatly. My condolences to Bryan and the rest of George's family. Thank you for sharing him with us.
Jerry Kammer
March 8, 2015
David and I were shocked and saddened to learn of George's passing. He was a longtime, dear friend dating back to our days at Mr. Vernon High School. We will miss him. Best wishes and condolences to his family.
Lisa K. Price, Chapel Hill, NC
March 8, 2015
To his son, Keller, who used to be a delivery driver for my sister and me, I send our heartfelt understanding.
March 7, 2015
I would like to express my condolences for the passing of Dr. Grayson. I work in the Technology Support Center at William and Mary and had the opportunity to help him with computer issues on several occasions. He was always kind, humorous and thoughtful. Dr. Grayson had a way of making a person feel significant and appreciated, which is a rare gift.
Julie Martin
March 6, 2015
I knew George for the last 10 yrs.I used to play tennis with him at the Inn and Mccormack -Nagleson Tennis center.He was a great thinker and jovial guy and Iam going to miss him a lot.
My sincere condolences to George,s family.
George Mathew
March 6, 2015
I spoke with George only a handful of times, but recall his cheerfulness especially. Also of course, decades ago mostly, how he spoke in faculty meetings on matters to do with writing and the curriculum. We once compared notes on a certain common issue here, and while I chose a different course than he suggested his insights were valuable. George was one of the most recognizable faculty members for decades, and a prominent scholar who enhanced the prestige of the College. I will miss him.
Gary C. DeFotis
March 6, 2015
I have know George since his first campaign against Russ Corneal, my father Norman "Hut" Holloway was his campaign manager in Poquoson. George always said of his first meeting with my dad that it was his "lucky day." George won that election and everyone thereafter, always keeping in touch, by telephone calls or news letters. George never forgot our family or Poquoson. Before,our dad went to heaven to be with the Lord, George came down to Poquoson one last time, sat by my father's bed, talking with him,reading poetry to him all afternoon. Each time I would go into the room it seemed he was wiping away tears,from pleasant memories they had shared. This was an unselfish act he showed,long after his first victory, but true love and respect for someone he felt had done so much for him.
George, was an accomplished, humble wonderful human being. God bless his family in their time of need.
Frances Holloway Hinton
Savannah F. Hinton
March 6, 2015
George was the rare honest politician. We didn't always agree, but I had great respect for his integrity and ethics. He will be missed. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Lois Minor
March 6, 2015
George lived a life that mattered greatly and he will continue to live through the many things he did to make Virginia a better place and through the many students who will be achieving great things for many decades because of his influence. I treasure my years of serving with George in government and being Chair of the Henrico Democratic Committee when he represented our county so well. Family, thank you for sharing him with us.
Bernie Henderson
March 6, 2015
George and I only knew each other on a tennis court. They were memorable occasions. I will miss him. He was a great person to know and respect.
Jim O'Connell
March 6, 2015
Rest in Peace Professor Grayson, you have earned it. I first met George as a guest in our Yorktown home in the early 1970s. My mother was an adult student at the College and George often attended my parents' International Parties as they were called. Then, as a student in the early 1980s, I learned what it meant to have the General Assembly's "resident grammarian" as a professor. He was amazing in class, and he pushed his students to perform better than they thought possible. I recall one time he lectured our Politics of Energy class in his living room, complete with all the hot dogs and chips one could want... and impressively, a case of inexpensive beer, you know, the kind college kids were used to, in his fridge clearly purchased for his students to imbibe while busily taking notes during the lecture. My notes that day weren't up to the usual standard but I gained a fuller appreciation for who George really was that day. Thank you George for all the lives you touched in so many ways and, in particular, my own.
Mark Rinaldi
March 6, 2015
I remember George as a tireless campaigner and ardent populist. I worked on his very first campaign when I was in high school. He ran against Russell Carneal. Someone awarded George the Golden Shoe Award for all the shoe leather George wore out going door-to-door to meet voters in that contest. Subsequent campaigns were successful, of course. He gave life his all. Keller and Gisele, he loved you dearly. I'm sorry for your loss. Rosie Theis Carlisle
March 5, 2015
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