Virginia Looney Gray, 70, of Albany ended her fight with cancer Thursday, March 14th, 2019. She died at home surrounded by family. Mrs. Gray was born to Russell D. and Francis P. Looney on September 22, 1948 in Griffin, GA.
Visitation and reception are scheduled for 1:00 P.M. on Monday, March 18th, 2019 in the Parrish Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (212 N. Jefferson St., Albany, GA 31702). A Memorial Service will follow at 3:00 P.M. in the Sanctuary. A private interment service for family will follow.
Virginia moved to Albany in 1958, graduated from Albany High School in 1966, and graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS.Ed. in 1970. She spent her career as an educator at a number of area public and private schools and worked at Darton College until her retirement. Her passion for English, grammar, and diagramming sentences still lingers with the many students she taught at St. Teresa’s and Lee County Middle, many of whom say they still recall her intense recital of Louis Carroll’s, Jobberwocky. Virginia was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority while at UGA. She was a long-time member of the Albany Junior League, former Chairwoman of the Albany Area Arts Festival, and was appointed by Gov. Joe Frank Harris to fill a role on the Georgia Council of the Arts. She was a long-standing member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Albany where she also served on the Vestry and held the position of Junior Warden. Virginia was also a member of the “Chicks of 66” group and Xi Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma educator’s sorority.
Virginia was an enthusiastic member of PAWS Patrol Patient-Pet Therapy program and was a certified Therapy Dog evaluator. She brightened the lives of many patients with visits from her beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s, Dewar and Remy. When she wasn’t engaged in her therapy work, you could find Virginia in her kitchen entertaining and cooking for a crowd, in Athens at her beloved condo tailgating while cheering on the Bulldogs, or at the beach where she often said she existed on “Aunt Gerri’s Time” and ignored the clocks. You’ve never experienced Halloween in Albany unless you visited her while dressed in full witch costume as she cackled incessantly and gave treats to the amazed children. She relished Christmas with her family and friends. Her ever-growing collection of Christmas Caroler figures, multiple decorated trees, and many years hosting an epic Christmas Day brunch were testament to her love for the Holiday.
Virginia is survived by her husband of 49 years, Judge Loring A. Gray, Jr., her son Russell and his wife Lynn of Albany, her daughter Liz Barfield and husband Matt of Norman, OK. She is also survived by her sister Cecelia Looney Jordan of Albany. Virginia also leaves behind 3 loving grandchildren Ansley, Will and Lilia Gray as well as many brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Special recognition is also extended to Virginia’s loving caregiver, Ruthie Taylor of Albany and Clair Reed, RN, with Integrity Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to the Albany Humane Society (1705 West Oakridge Dr, Albany, GA 31707), Cancer Ties of Albany (P.O. Box 71812, Albany, GA 31708), and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church general fund (212 N. Jefferson St., Albany, GA 31702).