Garland Monroe Gray, beloved brother, 73, of Salem, passed into the loving arms of Jesus on Sunday, October 31, surrounded by his family, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Garland Madison and Marie Saul Gray; brother Melvin, and infant sister Velma. He is survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law, Charlene and Bill Yeagley; Janice and Tom Scarce; and several cousins.
Garland was born and raised in Roanoke and moved to Salem in 2011. He retired from Roanoke City Schools and Salem City Schools. Garland loved plants and flowers and was well known in the garden shops of businesses in the Roanoke Valley. Garland got the green thumb in the family and his yard and porches were always filled with beautiful flowers, which he loved to share with others.
A lover of all animals, he especially loved his cats and was known to set scraps out for the area critters. He enjoyed meeting with friends at Hardee’s in Salem, where he had many plants in the dining area. His favorite music was from the ‘50s and ‘60s, and he could always tell you who sang which song and its history on the music charts.
Garland also enjoyed watching Westerns and Hallmark movies on TV, especially Christmas movies. He loved to decorate for all the various seasons and always had lights in the trees of his yard to celebrate holidays or special occasions. Garland was a devout Christian and loved his church family at Fellowship Baptist Church, of which he was a member and attended for over 50 years.
Garland was special to many people and will be greatly missed. Garland’s family would like to thank everyone involved in caring and praying for Garland in his final months: Good Samaritan Hospice; Fellowship Baptist Church; Special Caregiver, Tanya Terry; Good friend, Barry Blount; and all the friends who visited and brought milkshakes and sent cards to Garland.
Funeral services were held at John M. Oakey Funeral Home, Salem, on Thursday, November 4, with Pastor Mark Manning, Fellowship Baptist Church, officiating. Interment followed at Evergreen Burial Park.