Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 14, 2021.
Anita Louise Gray 21 (80)
Anita Louise Gray, daughter of the late Lawrence and
Rosie Gray was born on December 30, 1940 in
Washington, DC, peacefully transitioned under the
care of McLeod Hospice House in Florence, SC on
January 21, 2021.
Anita, the third child of eight was preceded in death
by her parents, brothers: Michael, Lawrence Jr., Robert, and George Gray, niece, Esther
Turpin and sister-in-law; Vivian Gray "Pat" (Robert).
She is dearly missed by her siblings: sister, Gladys Johnson (Eric); brothers John Gray
(Regina) and Edward Gray (Daisy) and sister in-laws, Juanita Gray, Phyllis Gray,
"Aunt Nita" is also beloved and greatly missed by her 11 nieces and eight nephews and
37 great and great-great nieces and nephews. She also leaves special friends, Ansi
"Henry", Betty and Carolyn of Darlington, SC.
She was educated in the Washington, DC Public school system and graduated from
Eastern HS in 1958.
Anita was immensely proud of her career as a Federal employee at the US Post Office
and US Department of Commerce. Anita retired in 1993 from "Commerce" as an
International Trade Administrator, an assignment which afforded her many opportunities
of foreign and domestic travels.
Shortly afterwards, she moved to Darlington, SC where she enjoyed her extended
family, walking trails, market places, restaurants, spring water availability and exploring
the beauty of southern country living. Anitas display of love for her family and friends was
evident in the yearly mailed "Black Seeds" calendars or newspaper clippings of interest,
the generous birthday and milestone celebration cards, the time spent (picking up and
dropping off), leaving the pool in the back yard, playing, and hosting card games
spades and "2000", the sharing of living space in her home and the solicited and
unsolicited financial assistance. In earlier years she enjoyed driving to DC to visit her
family and friends and she was equally excited when family and friends visited her as
driving long distance was no longer possible. She relished the laughter and mingling her
of family, especially in her home. "Aunt Nita" was a non-judgmental active listener who
challenged you on your views and explored your pathway to that position. One of her
favorite statements, "Let's agree to disagree" followed with a little pat or chuckle." Anita
Louise Gray stated that "I had a good life, I had fun, my only regret is not having
children". She spent hours talking and looking at the pictures of the "good looking
women in our family "while pointing out the characteristic and traits of Rose Gray. She
cherished those pictures and reflected on memories she shared with each of us. Aunt
Nita enjoyed cruising with Susan, Phyllis, and family so much that she spoke of a "Gray
Girls Cruise", in which the men could join to protect the Gray Girls. She enjoyed reading
and learning new information, she often said "I retired too early".
She was "Nita", willful and steadfast in her beliefs and desires. She is deeply missed.
Many of her close friends, Molly, Dorothy, Rayfel, Mary (Balt) and "Clo" have preceded
her in death, however, their children loved her and deeply mourn her passing. Her pets,
Leo and Oreo preceded her as well. Anita spoke fondly of Betty Jackson and Carolyn
Gray whose assistance she relied on for the past two years. The family is grateful for
their kindness and attention.
A memorial service will be held at later date due to the current COVID restrictions.
"A friend is someone who knows you as you are, understands where you have been,
accepts who you've become, and still invites you to grow." Stu Weber, Locking Arms