Gray W. Hampton, Jr. ’51

Gray W. Hampton, Jr. ’51 died September 10 in Huntington, W.Va. He was born on April 10, 1928, in Huntington, W.Va., son of Gray Watson Hampton and Lucile Benn Kilby. He graduated from Woodberry Forest Prep School in 1947 and Davidson College in 1951. Later that year, Gray joined the U.S. Navy Reserve. He was called to active duty in December 1952 and graduated from Navy Officer Candidate School shortly thereafter. He continued his active service with the Navy until late 1956, including tours of duty in both the Far East and the South Pole, and was in the reserves through 1959. After completing his active service, he attended both the Presbyterian School of Christian Education and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and graduated in 1960. The year before graduating, Gray married Julia Long Rolston. His first call to the pastorate was to Sunset Hills Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C., in 1960. In late 1962, he became pastor of Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C. In 1968, he returned home to become associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church, where he served for the next eleven years. After that, Gray continued his ministry by serving as an interim pastor for several other local churches, while also selling commercial and residential real estate. In 1981, he joined the Foster Foundation Board of Directors, and in 1988 he became the administrator of Foster Memorial Home. He retired in 1997. Gray had long dreamed of having a retirement community in Huntington and proposed the idea to the Foster Foundation in 1988. In August 1996, Woodlands Retirement Community opened and within a few months every apartment was occupied. Gray served as trustee of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, president of the Family Service Board, a member of the Ethics Committee at Cabell Huntington Hospital, and a member of the West Virginia Personal Care Task Force which assisted with the development of enabling legislation passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 1997. In recent years, he was also a parish associate at First Presbyterian Church and made many pastoral calls. He is survived by his wife, Julia R. Hampton, 33 N. Bradley Foster Dr., Huntington, W.Va. 25701-9457; his children, Gray W. Hampton III ’83 (Lauren), David R. Hampton, Mary Lou Daly ’88 (Michael ’88), and Jacqueline R. Hampton; and his grandchildren, Michael G. and Tyler J. Daly.