J.L. "Buck" Gray

January 1, 2019

J.L. “Buck” Gray went to his eternal home on New Year’s day morning, January 1, 2019. Buck was born in Chowan County, North Carolina to the late Albert Lee Gray and Mildred Chesson Gray. He was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Libby Cooke Gray. Buck is survived by his daughter, Beth Gray, son Lee Gray, grandsons, Wilson and Warren Gray, sister, Jane Layden, and numerous wonderful nieces and nephews.

Buck was a family man who gave thought to his wife, children, and grandchildren in everything that he did. He really liked his wife’s cooking, took special care to see that Beth (his mentally handicapped daughter) was taken care of, and spent time coaching and teaching his son Lee in various sports growing up.  He was an honest and fair man who took his responsibilities seriously.

Growing up on a farm, Buck learned the meaning of hard work early in life.  This would serve him well later when he served in the U.S. Army. In the Army he was a drill sergeant stateside, and served in Germany as a cryptographer. After the military, Buck went to North Carolina State University on the G.I. Bill. In 1957 he received his civil engineering degree. As an engineer, he helped to design part of I-95 down in Georgia, and later used his engineering knowledge in sales for Armco Steel and the Powers Regulator Company (which sold pneumatic tube systems). Buck finished out the last half of his career working as a financial planner for what is now the Mass Mutual Financial Group.

Faith was very important to Buck and he participated in the life of Providence Baptist Church consistently. Going to church on Sundays was a matter of course for the entire family.  At Providence he served many years as a Sunday School teacher and on the board of deacons.

Buck loved the outdoors. He had several outdoor hobbies such as hunting grouse and quail with his bird dogs, and fly fishing for trout in the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. He also took a fly fishing trip to Colorado every September for over 20 years. Buck was a member of the Wolfpack Club and loved attending N.C. State sporting events such as football and basketball. He held season tickets to N.C. State home football games for over 50 years. Later in life, Buck and his wife Libby also traveled to places such as China, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, and England.

The family would like to especially thank Charles Waters and George Walters for their friendship and particular care for Buck in the last few years of his life without Libby; and also that one last perfect day at the mountains. The family would also like to thank many of the kind nurses and staff at the Asbury Care Center in Aldersgate. 

A memorial service to remember and celebrate Buck Gray’s life will be held at Providence Baptist Church on Monday, January 7, 2019 at 11:00 AM.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Providence Baptist Church, 4921 Randolph Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 and designated to one of the following areas – The Bereavement Ministry, the Libby Gray Memorial Library, or the Special Education Adult Sunday School Class.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.



Share your memories & condolences


  • Beverly Walker Raynor

    R.I.H.P. Buck, you will be missed at the Asbury. Condolences to all of his family & those that loved him
    Beverly Raynor & Mrs. Nita Evans( Asbury resident).

  • Denise Hopper

    Buck left a lasting impression at Asbury. He is sorely missed. He was a gentleman, a genuinely kind person, and someone always ready with a positive word. I'm so glad to have known him.