William Nelson Gray Jr., 86, of Hampton, died peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. Bill was the son of the late William Nelson Gray Sr. and Elizabeth Roane Gray. He served his country in the United States Air Force and then dedicated 32 years to Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, retiring in 1994 as a supervisor. Bill was a devout Christian and attended St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. He was outgoing, funny, and very dedicated and loving to his family.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, and his beloved wife of 60 years, Irene Nettles Gray. Left to cherish his memory is son, William “Nelson” Gray III (Beth); daughter, Susan E. Likert; brothers, James Gray (Fay) and David Gray (Janet); sister-in-law, Lavern Gray; grandchildren, Randall Likert Jr. and Elizabeth McIntire; great-grandchildren, Racheal, Robby, Rebecca, and Ruth; numerous nieces and nephews, and dear next-door neighbors and friends, Ina, Taz, and Rebel.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, from 4-5 p.m. at R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, 245 S. Armistead Avenue, Hampton. A funeral service will be conducted at noon on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, at the funeral home with interment at 3 p.m. at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk, Va.