On Wednesday, August 21, 2019, Leona Mae Ballard Gray, passed away peacefully at the age of 97 at the Bowers Hospice House in Beckley, West Virginia.
Leona was born on September 11, 1921 to Kenna Lee Ballard and Ethel Mae Johnson Ballard in Lego, West Virginia. Leona, the oldest of the three Ballard children, had two siblings, Lucille Ballard Bowling (who passed in April 2017) and Bobby Ballard (who passed as an young child). Leona graduated from Matoaka High School in the Class of 1939. Leona was married to Thomas Lee Gray for over 50 years until his death in 1997.
Leona served as Vice President of Gray Lumber Company for over 30 years and helped to manage the Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable Departments. Leona was a longtime resident of Northwestern Avenue in Beckley and enjoyed long walks and visits with neighbors in the neighborhood. Leona frequently took shopping trips to Winston-Salem, North Carolina and enjoyed vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In her later years, Leona loved relaxing at home and enjoyed watching old episodes of the Lawrence Welk show and watching the Food Network with her great grandson.
Leona is survived by her loving family. Her daughter, Donna Leigh Gray Davis and husband Wayne, of Beckley. Her son, Thomas Richard Gray and wife, Debbie Songer of Beckley. Her granddaughters, Leigh Kristin Davis Fickling and husband Jimmy, of Durham, North Carolina (and their twins Ava and Davis) and Kerry Gray Davis Ogrodowczyk and husband Eric, of Hickory, North Carolina (and their sons Noah and Nathan). Her grandsons, Ryan Lee Gray and wife Jennifer of Kansas City, Missouri (and their children Carter, Cruz, Cameron, and Gracie) and Richard Lee Gray and wife Kara of Teas Valley, West Virginia (and their children Mason, Meadow, and Malea). Leona is also survived by her caregiver and special friend, Stephanie Mickey of Beckley and caring friend, Betty Lilly.
Services will be Saturday August 24, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Melton Mortuary in Beckley, West Virginia and internment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park. The service will be officiated by Rev. Steven B. Hamrick. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, West Virginia in loving memory of Leona Gray or to Children with Diabetes, 8216 Princeton-Glendale Road, #200, West Chester, Ohio, 45069 in memory of Leona Gray and in honor of Rick Gray and Ava Fickling.
Pallbearers will be family members; Wayne Davis, Jimmy Fickling, Eric Ogrodowczyk, Noah Ogrodowczyk, Nathan Ogrodowczyk, Davis Fickling, Ryan Lee Gray and Richard Lee Gray.