walter gray

Obituary of walter benjamin gray

Walter Benjamin “Ben” Gray passed away Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at home in Pensacola, Florida, at the age of 93. He was born in Waynesboro, Mississippi to Walter and Eugenia Holcombe Gray and was raised by his mother and father who died when Ben was 3 years old. Ben was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Korean conflict. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in business administration and spent his career working as a financial analyst for Exxon/Mobil. While a student in college, Ben had a “blind date” with Jean Smith Gray whom he fell in love with and later married in Laurel, Mississippi. They raised their two girls while living in Grand Isle, Louisiana, Metairie, Louisiana, and Pensacola, Florida. Ben and Jean held lifelong friendships with families they met early in his work with Exxon and continued for more than 70 years. They also had dear, beloved friends they met and maintained for over 50 years through summer vacations and their retirement years spent in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Ben meticulously and lovingly planned family vacations with hand-drawn maps and detailed travel itineraries, each trip including an element of American history, a love of the great outdoors, and endless fun. He had a deep love of family, a bright intellect, a kind, sweet nature, and a great sense of humor. Ben was also an avid golfer, competing with the Panhandle Pinseekers and the Sandcrab Senior League until he was almost 90 years old. Ben had a steady faith in Christ. He was a lifetime member of the Methodist church and enjoyed his later years with the weekly seniors coffee group at First United Methodist Church, Pensacola. Ben is preceded in death by his parents and his two sisters, Jean Haltom and Mary Benton Moffett. He is survived by his daughters; Gayle Atkinson (Jim) and Carol Whiting (Rod), four grandchildren; Derek Atkinson (Christina), Lesley Atkinson, Gray Whiting (Rachel), and Paige Whiting Thames (Dylan) and one great-grandson, Watson Atkinson. Gayle and Carol would like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice, Mary, Mandy, Jason, and Kourtnei, for their kindness, spiritual support and professional care. A private, graveside service will be held in Waynesboro, Mississippi.
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