Edward Preston Gray, 86, of Benson, Ariz., formerly of
North Myrtle Beach, selfless servant of our Lord,
succumbed to acute leukemia at Banner – University
Medical Center Tucson after a year-long battle.
A Benson resident since 2011, Mr. Gray touched many
lives. Those who knew him remember him for the kind,
gentle, patient, honest and compassionate man he
was. Despite his diagnosis, he remained positive,
telling friends and family, “You’ve got to go with what
you’ve got,” a favorite mantra of his father.
Mr. Gray spent his early years in Wise County, Va., in a farm house with no running
water. As a teenager he moved to the Washington, D.C., area and attended Eastern
High School (1949), where he was the captain of the Cadets (similar to ROTC). He led
the Cadets to the annual competition, placing fourth and missing third by 0.7 point.
He met Bernice Reidy on the steps outside the cafeteria at high school. He was 19, and
she was 15. They married several years later and raised two daughters, whom they
adopted as infants. The family spent many memorable summers traveling in a pop-up
camper throughout the country, Canada and Mexico. Later Ed and Bernice owned two
RVs and continued their travels.
A banker by profession, he began his career as a courier with Riggs National Bank
(now PNC Financial Services) in Washington, D.C., earning a scholarship to
Southeastern University and taking night classes. He rose through the ranks and retired
as an executive vice president after 35 years of service. He and Bernice then moved to
North Myrtle Beach where he worked for First Federal Bank of Charleston (now South
State Bank) for several years. They lived there for 25 years and then moved to Benson
to be near their daughter Nancy.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Bernice Gray; two daughters, Nancy Gray
(Jason) Warren of Saint David, Ariz., and Amy (William) Hauck of Myrtle Beach; six
grandchildren, Cierra, Asia, Elijah, Liam, Mica and Simeon Hauck of Myrtle Beach; two
sisters, Elizabeth Patton (Pat) Mowry and Frances Gray of Northern Virginia; one
brother, Theodore (Ted) Gray of Northern Virginia; and 11 nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his mother Carrie Gray (né Elam) of Wise County, Va., and
Suitland, Md.; and his father, Victor Gray of Scott County, Va., and Suitland, Md.
Ed was a member of San Pedro Valley United Methodist Church in Benson and was
treasurer until his illness. Throughout his life, he served in various roles at Ryland United
Methodist Church, Washington, D.C.; Bells United Methodist Church, Camp Springs,
Md.; and Seaside United Methodist Church, Sunset Beach, N.C.
The family thanks the many who prayed for Ed, from California to the East Coast.
“Prayer is the answer” were among Ed’s parting words.
Through Ed’s illness the family has learned so many things that he has done and been to
In lieu of flowers or gifts in his name, the family asks that you pay a kindness forward in
recognition of Ed’s selfless giving. Be there for a loved one or stranger in his honor.
No funeral service is planned at this time.