John Paul Gray, 52, of Fernandina Beach went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 while on a business trip in Atlanta.
Born on April 5, 1965, he was the son of Barbara Dickerson Gray and the late Thomas Marshall Gray. John was raised in Charleston, West Virginia where he developed a love for baseball and the great outdoors. John graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School in 1983 and graduated from West Virginia Tech with a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1987. After college, John joined the United States Navy and became a commissioned officer on the USS West Virginia out of Kings Bay, GA. After the Navy, John was employed by Georgia-Pacific in Brunswick and settled on St. Simons Island. John discovered a love for the coast, met his wife, Robi and started a family. He began his employment at Rayonier Advanced Materials on July 16, 2008 and transitioned his family to Fernandina Beach in 2014. John was the Manager of Engineering and Maintenance. He helped to build boiler programs and improve reliability for Rayonier. He was also President of the Black Liquor Recovery Boiler Advisory Committee (BLRBAC) and helped to develop industry standards for pulp and paper mill boilers nationally.
It was on Amelia Island that John and his family would spend their happiest days together. John began collecting shark’s teeth during their trips to the beach. He enjoyed working in the family garden and continued his lifelong passion for baseball.
John passed this love on to his sons who all played baseball as well as other sports at various levels. John always told his sons, “be a good man first and a good baseball player second.”
John leaves behind his wife of nearly 20 years, Robi Britton Gray, sons J.T., Dave, Rob, Sam, Tom and his step-daughter, Harvest; his mother, Barbara Gray of Charleston, WV, his sister, Tonya Propst of Myrtle Beach, SC and his niece and nephew also of Myrtle Beach.
Services will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with The Reverend Stephen Mazingo, Rector.
In lieu of flowers, a scholarship memorial for John’s five sons has been established at youcaring.com/robigray-970631