On September 16, 2020, Our Lord and Savior called William “Chad" Gray home to glory after 55 wonderful years of life. Born on December 14, 1964 in Baltimore, Maryland, to Shirley Hounshell Gray and the late William “Shorty” Gray, he was their only child. As a youngster, Chad excelled in sports, mainly football, with a dream of following in his father’s footsteps to become a professional football player. A product of Saint Mary’s Academy and Norfolk Catholic High School until the 10th grade, Chad later graduated from Norview High School in 1983.
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After high school, Chad attended Virginia State University where he developed numerous friendships with those who were drawn to him due to his infectious laugh, smile and lively personality. Ever mindful of his responsibility to today’s youth, Chad later found his calling mentoring children first by coaching one of the area’s flag football youth teams, then on to become an Assistant Football Coach at I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, where those under his tutelage, affectionately called him “Coach Gray.” Subsequently Chad began working for the city of Portsmouth in their Recreation Department, which allowed him to continue working with children. Chad never passed up an opportunity to mentor and inspire young people. He was known for sharing his “pearls of wisdom” and life’s teachings with them.
He was a member of Come To The Light Ministry Church of Norfolk, VA.
Chad leaves to cherish his memory, his loving and supportive mother, Shirley Hounshell Gray. His sisters: Dr. Valarie Gray Turner, mother of niece Brianna, both of Mitchellville, MD; Eula “Pit” Gray Edler (Ernest), parents of niece Jordan, all of Suffolk, VA. His Aunt Carolyn Burden (Russell), Godparents Paul Eugene Johnson, Sr. (Jean) and Marie Webb. His cousin Andre Hounshell, cousin Tanya Hounshell, cousin Kelly Hounshell, cousin Lorraine Broadway, all from Maryland, his best friend Ron Holloman (Yvonne) and a very special neighbor Linda Turner and a host of many friends from Saint Mary’s Academy, Norfolk Catholic High School, Norview High School, Virginia State University and Tanners Creek. Chad also leaves to cherish his memory "Mom El " Eleanor Gray, Nakkia Gray and Chuck Gray (Melissa), all of Chesapeake, Virginia and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews.
Chad was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother Wilhelmina Hounshell, his maternal grandfather Duconze Hounshell, paternal grandmother Louise King Gray and paternal grandfather William C Gray.
Public viewing will take place on Monday, September 21, 2020 at Graves Funeral Home in Norfolk from 2:00 – 6:00 PM and his Celebration of Life Service will take place on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 2:00 PM.
Chad will be missed but will NEVER be forgotten!