Celebrating the Life of Dorothy Mae Gray
Born on April 3, 1929, in Franklin, Ohio, Dorothy Mae Gray was the eighth child of ten born to Cora and William Holbrook. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1947.
Dorothy is preceded in death by Cora and William Holbrook; brothers Alex, James, Ulysses, and Herbert; and sisters Iva, Flora, Bernice, and Louella; son, Harvey Daniel Gray; and special nephews, Alfred Holbrook and Keith Guerrant; as well as other special friends and in-laws who were dear to her.
Dorothy is survived by her supportive brother, Donald T. Holbrook (Audrey, deceased), San Jose, CA. Her loving daughters, Jamila Kibibi-Kendall (Andrew Kendall), Henderson, NV; Angela Jackson, Dayton, OH; Sheila (Joseph Wesley, III) Cameron, Oviedo, FL; and Valerie Gray, Harrisburg, PA.
Her beloved grandchildren, Walter Hickman, Donald S. Jackson, Joseph W. Cameron IV, Kalia Lee (Dominic), and Jeffrey A. Cameron (Ryikema).
Her beloved great-grandchildren, Jasmine Hickman, Hafeeza Hickman, Hassan Hickman, Dominic Lee, Jr., Kalil Lee, Kara Jackson and Jeffrey A. Cameron, Jr.
Her beloved great-great-grandchild, Demichael Marshall, Jr.
Special Daughter-in-law, Annette Ross-Gray (Daniel); and grandchildren Joslyn and Joseph, and great-grandchildren Daniel and Reneé.
Niece, Janice Cunningham; and cousins, Hubert Stewart and Shirley McKinney; and close in-laws Elder Ozell Northern, Robert and Flora Northern, and Ann Rowland; and a host of relatives and friends that loved her.
During her well-lived life, Dorothy was a phenomenal mother, wife, and servant leader. She was a Christian, an advocate and implementer of civil rights and equality in the communities in which she served. She was the first lady of St. Joseph Missionary Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio, for 25 years while married to Rev. Harvey Gray, Jr. Church members, family, and friends knew they could always count on her for support, comfort, and prayers.
After living in Dayton for over 45 years married to Harvey Gray (ex-husband who preceded her in death in 2009) and raising their children in Jefferson Township, she moved back to Franklin in 1995.
She was reunited with her childhood friend from Franklin, Weesie Polly (preceded in death in 2020). Dorothy and Weesie represented the few African Americans in their class. Excluding her 70th high school reunion, Dorothy attended all high school reunions and contributed to the planning of the reunions.
She was an awesome storyteller of her familial history, recounting the experiences of her parents and grandparents, and revealing her life growing up in Franklin, Ohio.
Dorothy was renowned for her cooking, baking, and preserving. She made the best cream puffs, pound cake, coconut cake, cheesecake, spice cake, and brown sugar chocolate cake.
She was an avid gardener, traveler, reader, food preserver. She designed her flower gardens with rocks positioned in the perfect location. Red roses and petunias were her favorite flowers. Her travel adventures included trips to the Smokey Mountains and the Grand Canyon. Special locations of travel include Alaska, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. She went parasailing in the Bahamas; a helmet walk on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean in Bermuda; and hiked cliff-side trails of the Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada.
She enjoyed canning and sharing her creations with family and friends. Cha-Cha, hot pepper jelly, and strawberry jam were her specialties.
She guided her children to find their paths and attain their goals while encouraging others to do the same.
She was politically savvy. She was strong and voiced her informed opinion regardless of the topic.
Dorothy passed away at Otterbein Senior Living Community in Franklin, Ohio on January 8, 2022.
Although we will miss her deeply, her love, prayers, energy, and spirit will live in our memories and shine throughout the world.
MASKS ARE REQUIRED