Alfred Curtis Gray, age 88, lifelong resident of Blacksburg, Virginia, died Saturday July 29, 2017 at Lewis Gale Hospital in Montgomery County. Born November 3, 1928, in Blacksburg he was the son of the late Harvey Walter and Gladys Linkous Gray of Blacksburg.
A loving husband and caring father, Curtis (“Ducky” to many of his family and friends) grew up in Blacksburg at various homes around town. He graduated Blacksburg High School in 1946, obtained his Bachelor of Science at Virginia Tech in 1951, and following graduation Curtis entered the United States Air Force where he served in Greenville, South Carolina, and Denver, Colorado and also spent time in Bermuda. Curtis had attained the rank of Staff Sergeant with a position title of finance specialist at the time of his honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1954 to pursue academic studies.
Curtis met Peggy Anne Arthur of Radford, Virginia the summer of 1956, and they were married in December 1957. Curtis obtained his Masters in Business Administration from VPI in 1959 and had a long, distinguished, successful career serving Montgomery County Schools for 37 years as a teacher, principal, coach, and at various administrative positions in the county central office. He coached baseball, basketball, and football, in later years playing those games with his two sons whenever he could. As a teacher, he taught seventh grade at Blacksburg Elementary School, and at Blacksburg High School he taught business courses prior to serving as assistant principal and then principal from 1961 until 1973. Curtis was accustomed to having former appreciative students approach him and greet him, and it became such a normal positive occurrence that his two sons would anticipate it happening wherever they went with their Dad.
In 1973, he moved to the county central office, and remained there until he retired in 1991 as chief financial officer and assistant superintendent. Three times he served as acting interim superintendent of schools for Montgomery County. Curtis enjoyed his long retirement by traveling with his wife to visit family, working in the yard, watching Virginia Tech sports, taking bus trips with Peggy to football bowl games, and listening — and tapping his foot — to big band jazz, especially his all-time favorite artist, Count Basie. He was a dedicated parishioner at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church for many years.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Peggy Arthur Gray; along with two sons, Andy Gray of Shiremanstown, PA and Ed Gray of Falls Church, VA; daughters-in law Courtney Gray and Natalie Gray; 5 grandchildren, Alexander, Sydney, Julia, Nicholas, and Kate; a sister, Nancy Montgomery of Greensboro, NC; and many other loving nieces, nephews and relatives. Curtis is preceded in death by four brothers, Bruce, Bobby, Joe, and Harold; and two sisters, Arlene Hudgins and Martha Wikstrom.
The family received friends on Wednesday, at the McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive S.W. Blacksburg. Funeral services were conducted on Thursday, in the Luther Memorial Lutheran Church with the Rev. William King officiating. A graveside burial service will follow at Westview Cemetery at 723 East Roanoke Street in Blacksburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 600 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060.