Mystic - Virginia Frances (Ryan) Gray - wife, mother, lover of God, family, and music and a life enthusiast - is awaiting the Lord's return, having passed away on Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.Virginia, known as "Dinny" to her family, was born on July 29, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J. to Edward and Kathleen Ryan. She was one of six children. Soon after her birth, her family moved to Oceanport, N.J. where she grew up loving the ocean and the seaside.Virginia went to the Star of the Sea Academy, a private school in Long Branch, N.J. She later graduated from Shoreline Regional High School and often spoke of the fun it was to dance with her brother Eddie Ryan and do the "hip dance" with her brother Charlie Ryan during noon hour when music blasted from the cafeteria in the school.Virginia married Harold Ellsworth Gray on Oct. 10, 1943, in a chapel at Fort Monmouth, Red Bank, N.J. when Harold was serving as a captain in the Army during World War II. They were married for more than 65 years before Harold passed away.In the early years of their marriage, they began their family in Ithaca, N.Y. where Harold earned his PhD at Cornell University and later served as a professor in the then-Cornell College of Agriculture. It was in Ithaca that the Grays had three of their four children. They left campus life for New York when Harold took a new job as a vice president for the Burnham Corporation. They lived for several years in Pleasantville, N.Y. and it was there that their fourth and final daughter was born. When all but one of their daughters were out of the house, the Grays moved to Illinois where Harold served as the president of the National Greenhouse Corporation. Upon Harold's retirement, the Grays moved to Greenville, S.C., finally landing at StoneRidge senior living community in Mystic.Virginia often expressed that her greatest joy in life was raising her family. She also enjoyed sewing, refinishing furniture and decorating her home beautifully.A vibrant singer, her daughters often heard her sing a song of her youth, "Anchored," offering a glimpse of the delight she felt when she was by the ocean. With sparkling blue eyes, she would happily sing: "Bright on the flashing brine glittered the summer sun. Sweetly the starry shine smiled when the day was done…"A vibrant personality, she could break out in song at any given minute with a beautiful voice even in her final years. She volunteered and coordinated a sing-a-long for residents that were memory-challenged at the StoneRidge community where she lived in Mystic, observing that the participants often lit up when they remembered the words to a song.It is a comfort to her family that Virginia was anchored in the hope of Jesus Christ. She had a love for God and the Bible, which she spoke of often to friends and family. Virginia could recite from memory Psalm 119, the longest Psalm in the Bible, until she passed away.Virginia is survived by her brother Charles A. Ryan of Oceanport, N.J. and her four daughters and their spouses, Michael and Virginia (Gray) Frase, Thomas and Barbara (Gray) Lally, Martin Gavin and Patricia Gray, Kevin and Christine (Gray) Rourke, as well as four grandchildren, three great- grandchildren, and 13 nieces and nephews."I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." Psalm 119: 14-16 KJV.Her family will receive friends at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20, followed by a service at 10 a.m. at the Mystic Funeral Home, Route 1 in Mystic. Burial will be private.Please visit
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