Barry “Doc” Lanier Gray
Louisville, GA – Barry “Doc” Lanier Gray, 67, loving husband of 42 years to Susan Elva Sheppard Gray, entered into his eternal rest Sunday evening, September 20, 2020 at University Hospital in Augusta. Graveside services with will be held at 2:30 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, September 23, 2020 at Waldens United Methodist Church Cemetery with Tracy McDaniel officiating.
Because of the family’s concern for public health and safety during this COVID-19 pandemic, the family requests that social distancing and other safety precautions be followed. The wearing of face masks is strongly encouraged.
The only child born to Virginia Ann Hardy Gray and Herbert Lanier Gray, Barry grew up in Appling and was a 1971 graduate of Harlem High School where he was lovingly known as “Doc” and was the pitcher on the high school baseball team. As a young boy, he accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, serving him at Kiokee Baptist Church. Growing up, he was very proud to be an Eagle Scout, where he learned many life skills. Playing in the church softball league grew his love for softball and baseball. Doc was very active and also enjoyed hunting, fishing and anything to do with racing of any kind—go cart, dirt track, motorcycle, NASCAR. He was very athletic and had a competitive streak which came out “occasionally” in his golf game. Doc was especially proud to be a member of the Ogeechee 5 O’Clock Golf Group. Barry initially worked for Sherwin Williams, where he met the love of his life, marrying in 1978. He then worked at Thomson Decorating before being a Facilities Maintenance Supervisor for Richmond County Board of Education. Doc then operated and co-owned Gale Insulation for 21 years during which time he moved his family to NC, then FL and SC before finally coming back to GA, making Louisville their home in 2008. He then worked for Ace Hardware, then in the facility maintenance department for Columbia County Board of Education, before joining the maintenance staff of the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners. His true calling was sales—it has been said that he could sell ice to an Eskimo. Doc was proud of his many “titles” in life—having worked a short while at Ace Hardware, he loved being known as “The Helpful Hardware Man”; he also had fond memories of being “Mr. Maintenance Man” to the kids in the Columbia County schools; but most of all, he loved being “Poppy” to his grandchildren who stole his heart. Known as the “life of the party”, he loved to cook and entertain family and friends. To Doc, everything centered around food and, therefore, was a good reason to get together. His concern was for others, making sure that they were enjoying themselves, their food and fellowship. Barry loved his family with an unconditional, steadfast devotion. This simple, unassuming man will be remembered for his loving, generous spirt by those he has left behind.
He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Johnnie Connor Hardy and Collie Hardy; and Mary Martin Gray and Herbert Gray. Other survivors include his children, Dr. Hardy L. Gray (Lundie) and Amy Elmore Heath (Matthew); four grandchildren, Amellia Gray, Parker Gray, Jewels Gray and Braden Heath; in-laws, nieces, nephews and many friends. Pallbearers will be Hardy Gray, Donnie Dunbar, Tracy McDaniel, Trevon McDaniel, Trent McDaniel and Tim Smith. Serving as honorary pallbearers are David Cowan, Keith Hadden, Mike Hinton, Joe Sheppard, Ricky Simmons, Mike Smith, Michael Travelstead, and the Ogeechee 5 O’clock Golf Group.