CORDOVA -- O. Tyrone Gray, 74, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Cordova at his home surrounded by his daughters and his adopted daughter. Tyrone was the husband of the late Carolyn Gray, his loving wife of 49 years. Over their marriage, they welcomed three children, and set about teaching them God's love, morals, and ethics. Tyrone's children remember him as a gentle giant and driven father, who encouraged them to pursue their goals.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, at St. George Baptist Church, Orangeburg, with the Rev. Dr. David Anderson and the Rev. Steve Dees officiating. Burial will follow in St. George Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, at Dukes-Harley Funeral Home, Orangeburg. Honored to serve as pallbearers are Ronnie Gray, Allen "Boo" Gray, Robert "Nut" Jameson, Ray Jameson, Doug Nall, Terry Smoak, and Nicholas Myers. Friends may call at the family's home at other times.
Tyrone was born in Orangeburg, a son of the late Thomas Woodrow Gray Sr. and Lizzie Mae Fogle Gray. He graduated from Edisto High School, Class of 1963. Tyrone was an athletic standout at Edisto, lettering in basketball, football, baseball, and track. He was a member of the 1963 All-Star Basketball team, the 1963 State Championship Baseball team, and the 1963 American Legion Baseball Championship team. In September of 2003, he was inducted into the Edisto High School Hall of Fame. He graduated from Clemson University, Class of 1967, with a degree in Dairy Science. Upon graduation, he was the owner of Evergreen Dairy Farms. After selling the family business, he worked at South Carolina State, and was a 27-year veteran maintenance mechanic for the United States Postal Service. His love of farming didn't stop, as his next venture led him to the poultry business, starting Gray's Poultry Farms.
Tyrone was a member St. George Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, director and member of the softball team. His hobbies included following the Clemson Tigers football team, being a private pilot who could be seen landing in a hay field or flying family and friends to Clemson football games. He refereed high school sports for 35 years including basketball, baseball, softball, and football, but he never showed partiality when officiating his daughters' games. Tyrone was well known in South Carolina where he officiated the Basketball All Star game and the state finals on at least a dozen occasions. He had the honor of officiating the Shrine Bowl and the North South All Star game.
He is survived by his children, Dr. Theresa Rashdan of Doha, Qatar, Tracy Sandifer (Chris) of Cope, Tara Cocco (Dr. James) of Sarasota, Florida, and an adopted daughter, Cheray Stillinger of Holly Hill; grandchildren, Amir and Tarek Rashdan of Doha, Qatar, Taylor Sandifer of Columbia, Austin Sandifer of Cope, Cooper Sandifer of Cope, Logan and Blake Cocco of Sarasota, Florida; siblings, Louise Smoak of Cordova, Thomas "Buck" Woodrow Gray Jr. (Imogene) of Cordova, Richard Gray (Doris) of Slidell, Louisiana, and Janet Gray Myers of Myrtle Beach; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by an infant sister, Deborah Mae Gray.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. George Baptist Church, 2590 Shillings Bridge Road, Orangeburg, SC 29115, or Grove Park Hospice, 1324 Grove Park Drive, Orangeburg, SC 29118.