September 20, 1940 - March 11, 2022
James Opal Gray was born September 20, 1940 in Selmer, TN the son of the late Thomas Opal and Audrey Lee McCoy Gray. He was united in marriage to Margaret Joyce Gilmore on December 21, 1971. James Opal graduated from Ramer High School in 1958. In May of 1962, he graduated from Mississippi State University with a BS from the School of Business and Industry. He worked for Tennessee River Pulp and Paper for 6 years. He was the first sheriff in McNairy County to be elected to a 4-year term. He served three terms as sheriff from 1974-1982. He attended both Gravel Hill Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Selmer. A proud alumni of Missisippi State University, a Master Mason of 60 years, dedicated member of Selmer Lodge No.743 under the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Tennessee. Mr. Gray had several interests and hobbies such as flying, knife and coin collecting, pocket watch repair, jewelry work and repair, and engraving on metal. An avid outdoorsman who enjoyed bird and duck hunting, fishing, competitive skeet shooting and farming along with equipment maintenance. Mr. Gray departed this life on March 11, 2022 in Guys, Tennessee at the age of 81 Years, 5 Months, 19 Days. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joyce Gray of Guys, TN; two daughters, Alonda Sweat and husband Charles of Brownsville, TN, Alecia Mathis and husband Dewayne of Lexington, TN; three granddaughters, Lauren Seiber and husband Cody of Knoxville, TN, Brandy Siffret and husband Jeff of Camden, TN, Ashley Sweat of Brownsville, TN; two step grandsons, Hunter Mathis and Jesse Mathis both of Lexington, TN; great grandson, Brayden Kilzer of Camden, TN; great granddaughter, Brooklyn Kilzer of Camden, TN; sister-in-law, Joann Clark Gilmore of Memphis, TN; niece, Mary Elizabeth McCord and husband Mike of Memphis, TN; nephew, Gary Gilmore and wife Kim of McKenzie, TN; great niece, Kendra Gilmore of McKenzie, TN; cousins, Brenda Hopkins Lancaster and husband Kenneth, Sylvia Hopkins Ruth and husband Dave. In addition to his parents, Mr. Gray was preceded in death by his in-laws, Homer and Mary Wade Gilmore; aunt, Elsie McCoy; uncle, Sexton McCoy; brothers-in-law, Homer Lee Gilmore and James E. Gilmore; sister-in-law, Mary Gilmore.
James Opal Gray was born September 20, 1940 in Selmer, TN the son of the late Thomas Opal and Audrey Lee McCoy Gray. He was united in marriage to Margaret Joyce Gilmore on December 21, 1971. James Opal graduated from Ramer High School in 1958.... View Obituary & Service Information
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