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Ann W. Gray, educator who headed preschool program, dies

Ann W. Gray headed the preschool program at the Garrison Forest School.
Ann W. Gray headed the preschool program at the Garrison Forest School. (Handout / HANDOUT)

Ann W. Gray, a career educator who headed the preschool program at the Garrison Forest School, died May 2 at College Manor in Lutherville of complications from vascular disease and arthritis. The former longtime Roland Park resident was 88.

The former Ann Wellington Clark, daughter of Dr. Richard Harry Clark, a physician, and his wife, Helen Norvell Clark, a homemaker, was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she graduated in 1950 from Hattiesburg High School.

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She earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1954 from Randolph-Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, and later obtained a master’s degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1954, she married James T. Gray, a Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co. trust officer, and settled first in Ruxton and later Roland Park.

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Mrs. Gray taught at Roland Park Country School, Ann Bond School and Valley School, finally joining the staff of the Garrison Forest School, where she headed the preschool program from the early 1970s until retiring in the 1990s, but remained at the school working as a tutor.

It was Mrs. Gray’s routine every morning to greet each arriving student with a handshake.

“A close friend noted, the only person who was not a friend of Ann had yet to meet her,” said her husband of 67 years.

She was admired for her “words of wisdom, knowledge, service, teaching and hospitality,” her husband said.

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Mrs. Gray was an active member for 66 years of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton.

A resident of the Brightview Retirement Community in Lutherville, she had been an avid tennis player.

A graveside service was held May 6 at the Central Methodist Cemetery in Prince Frederick.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Thomas Gray of Missoula, Montana; a daughter, Carroll Keating of New York City; and five grandchildren.

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