Donna (Price) Gray

August 4, 1956 ~ June 30, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old


Donna Price Gray
August 4, 1956-June 30, 2023

Donna Price Gray was born on August 4, 1956, in Chattahoochee County, GA, and headed off on her first adventure at two weeks old with her young mother, Mary Wells Price, to meet her father, Johnnie Price, who was stationed in Puerto Rico.  Having no cribs available at the commissary, Donna slept in the dresser drawer until one was available. Two years later, her baby brother, David, joined them.  Supporting Johnnie in his Army career, the family moved several times during Donna’s childhood including Germany, where she started Kindergarten, Louisiana, and Georgia. She attended at least 11 schools in her childhood. Donna was on-the-go her entire life; she was the first to volunteer, first one to jump in the car on an outing, especially shopping, and first to arrive at a party. She easily adapted to whatever life brought with appreciation and grace.  

After her dad’s retirement from the Army in 1973, the family joined their extended Price relatives in Martin County where they settled just in time for Donna to start her Senior Year at Bear Grass High School and be crowned Homecoming Queen. Typical of her humble nature, she would shrug off the accolade as if it had nothing to do with her beauty, inside and out.

The following year she met the love of her life, John Gray, while both were attending Martin Community College, and had their first official date on Valentine’s Day 1975. The two were married in her parents’ living room a year later on June 11, 1976, and recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary.

John and Donna bought their forever home in Plymouth in 1985 where they raised their two sons, John Wesley and James David (Wes and Jim) creating their special traditions and memories: swimming in the ocean at Easter in Ocracoke, the 3rd story condo in Atlantic Beach every 4th of July, excursions to the flea market in Raleigh, and Boy Scout camping trips. Donna was the type of mom to have a home cooked dinner ready every night, never miss a ballgame, and volunteer as Den Mother for the Boy Scout adventures.  

It was also during this time that Donna started her career at Pines Elementary School, where she was a teacher’s aide for 28 years. Donna always took care of everyone around her. She had a true caretaker’s heart and especially loved taking care of her grandchildren, Mary Braxton, Jameson, and Dalton. When she found out her first grandchild was on the way, she was immediately deemed “GiGi” (G/G for Grandma Gray). She would go to Raleigh every other week to spend the night with Mary Braxton from itty bitty four weeks old to her first birthday. She then babysat Jameson and Dalton during the workweek for 5 years. She never seemed to get tired; she could play with and love on “GiGi’s kids” all day and night and still manage to wash and fold more clothes than any other mom.  

GiGi never turned down an opportunity to babysit unless she had her beloved Line Dancing Class at the Senior Center or a trip with “her girls”. She loved heading off on her adventures with her squad, Sherlyn, Annette, and Debra. She was particularly fond of their Women of Joy conference every year in Myrtle Beach.  She also loved fellowship with the ladies of her Circle Group at First Baptist Church.

Donna always prioritized her family. After a week of babysitting her grandchildren, she would spend the weekend staying and caring for mother-in-law, Pat Holliday. She took excellent care of her mother and father. She never missed a Price Family Reunion and was much more than an in-law to her husband’s siblings, Rusty and Jacque. She adored her nieces and nephews and was always their biggest fan.

Donna was truly selfless. Even when faced with the heartbreaking ALS diagnosis 9 month ago, her exact text to her children was “I’m good, but I worry about your dad.” She was always thinking of others and not herself.  You never heard Donna complain about anything. She never lost her joking and fun nature even in her very last conversations. In the spirit of her selfless nature, Donna had asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Jim “Catfish” Hunter ALS Foundation to help others stricken with this disease. This organization provided so much support and guidance to her caretaker, her loving husband, John, who rarely left her side during her entire battle. She was so appreciative of the love and care from the Amedisys Hospice Care nurses and her aunt, Cathy Price, who cared for her so well at home.

In addition to her husband John, Donna is survived in death by her sons, Wes Gray (Cecilia) of Windsor, Jim Gray (Heather) of Roper, her grandchildren, Mary Braxton, Jameson, and Dalton Gray, her mother-in-law, Pat Holliday, brother David Price (Annette), sister-in-law, Jacque Baynor (Earl), brother in law, Rusty Holliday, and nieces and nephews: Nate, Alexis, and Josh Price, Josh and Brandi Holliday, Brittney Glancy, and Trey Baynor.

Donna is preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Johnnie Price, her nephew, Cameron Price, sister-in-law, Donna Holliday, and father-in-law, Macon Holliday.

Donna’s struggle with ALS came to an end on June 30th in her home surrounded by her family. As a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Plymouth, her pastor, Reverend Paul Harrington, will lead a graveside service on Thursday, July 6, 2023, at 11:00 am at the Price Family Cemetery, 1670 Price Road in Williamston. The family is receiving visitors at their home in Plymouth.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Jim “Catfish” Hunter ALS Foundation, PO Box 47, Hertford, NC 27944, https://www.catfishfoundation.org.

Arrangements are by Bryan Funeral Services at Hampton Academy, Plymouth.

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