Cover photo for Marilyn Kaye (Reece)  Gray's Obituary
Marilyn Kaye (Reece)  Gray Profile Photo
1941 Marilyn 2023

Marilyn Kaye (Reece) Gray

May 27, 1941 — January 2, 2023

A much-loved mother and grandmother, Marilyn Kaye (Reece) Gray, 81, died on January 2, 2023 at her home in Athens, Georgia. She was born on May 27, 1941 in Ringgold County, Iowa, the first of five children born to the late Howard William Reece and Inez Faye Perkins Reece.

She married Lanny Lloyd Gray on November 2, 1960 in Craig, Missouri. They shared 61 years together before his death in 2022, and had five children, thirteen grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

Marilyn graduated from Shannon City High School in Shannon City, Iowa in 1959 and earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree from Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1996.

When the family lived in Lindsborg, Kansas, Marilyn was a stay-at-home-mom and then a lumberyard secretary. When the family lived in St. Joseph, Missouri, she babysat and remained in contact with some of the kids. She worked at Interserve with the aging population, and then served as Deputy Circuit Clerk for Buchanan County for over 20 years.

When Lanny retired, the couple moved to Athens, Georgia. Marilyn worked in medical records at St. Mary’s Hospital, as a 911 dispatcher, and at the Athens-Clarke County Sheriff’s booking desk. She was also a member of the Citizens’ Police Academy. She retired in 2003.

Marilyn was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church. She was most recently a member of Johnson United Methodist Church in Watkinsville, Georgia. She was a member of TOPS 373-Watkinsville, Georgia and made lifelong friends there. She enjoyed square dancing, reading (a book a day for the past many years!), crafting, watching Duke play basketball, shopping the grocery store ads, playing bridge, and spending time with friends and family.

She was preceded in death by daughter Angela Leigh Cornick; granddaughter Rhiannon Lynn Riess; sister Patricia Mae Reece, and brother Howard Wayne Reece.

She is survived by her children Leilani Lynn Schooling (Laurel Hill, Florida), Rhonda Renee Riess and her husband Michael (Laurel Hill, Florida), Shannon Todd Gray and his wife Suzanne (Durham, North Carolina), Amy Louise Boswell and her husband Donald (Bishop, Georgia); grandchildren Ashley Powers, Allison Schooling, Michael Gray and his wife Delmaries, Ryan Riess, Mary Riess, Tony Riess, Alex Gray, Ian Gray, Grayson Boswell, Dawson Boswell, Madison Boswell, and Jesse Entwistle; great grandchildren Terra Powers, Auria Powers, Echo Goodson, Josiah White, Sebastian Dunn, and Kaiden Riess; her brothers Marion Eugene Reece and his wife Sam, and Kenneth Allan Reece and his wife Ellen; sisters-in-law Jan Beeman and her husband John, and Ramah Gray; and her dog Spike.

The family will receive friends from 2-4 pm, Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville, Georgia. Memorial service will be held at 3pm on Sunday, January 8, 2023 at Johnson United Methodist Church, 1890 Flat Rock Road, Watkinsville, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Johnson UMC.

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, West, Watkinsville, Georgia, is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn Kaye (Reece) Gray, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 7, 2023

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Memorial Service

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Johnson United Methodist Church

1890 Flat Rock Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677

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