Obituary of Eric Gray
Mr. Don Eric Gray II, 39; a life-long resident of Central Florida, passed away on April 5, 2021.
Eric is survived by his parents, Don Eric Gray, Sr. and Sara Jane Gray (née) Boyles; his siblings, Emma Rachel Gray (Ramon), Enoch Robert Gray (Carla), Ethan Roger Gray (Erica), Elisha Ruel Gray (Debbie), Eleana Rebecca Gray (Brogdon), Ephraim Raphael Gray (Nory), Ean Ryan Gray, Erin Robin Gray, and Elizabeth Roxanne Gray; his nephew and nieces, Matthew Dean Baumann, II, Gabrielle Maury, Britney and Caitlin Gray, and Camilla Gray; his Grandmother, Reion Blanche Gray (née Tarver); his Girlfriend, Martina Kaufman and her sons, Cedrick and Tyrese Kaufman; and his Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Friends.
Eric was predeceased by his paternal Grandfather, A.C. Gray, Jr; his paternal Aunt, Donna Susan Gray-Muxo; and his maternal Grandparents, Woodrow Wilson Boyles, and Lois Mae Watts.
Eric was a devoted brother to his nine siblings and a faithful friend to the many wonderful people lucky enough to have known him. He was a certified lifeguard from the age of fourteen on because he really, truly thrived on helping people and he kept up his certifications so he would always be prepared to offer assistance whenever and wherever he might be needed.
While working as a lifeguard at Walt Disney World, Eric saved many lives and yet, was humble enough to not brag about it. He was a talented, certified scuba diver who enjoyed exploring the last unconquered area on earth, the oceans. He was a model who participated in several international ad campaigns for Cypress Gardens and other Florida based entities. He was extremely proud of earning his Eagle Scout Rank with the Boy Scouts of America and carried his Eagle Scout Card with him, in his wallet, until the day he died. Eric was a gifted athlete and sportsman who excelled at any sport he ever attempted. He was an incredible swimmer, runner, cyclist, surfer, hiker, martial artist, a classically trained pianist, an amateur bodybuilder, an experienced security professional, as well as, being a gifted natural boxer and brawler.
Eric was privately, a man of deep faith who prayed every morning and every evening. He kept his scriptures in a prominent place where he would be able to read them regularly and had a very personal relationship with his Heavenly Father.
Eric was a force of nature with a naturally easy-going personality who lit up a room with his presence, his good looks, and his incredible charm. He loved to sing, especially with his family, and would often spontaneously perform songs from The Sound of Music, Disney Movies, and even Lawrence Welk with his siblings and parents, even winning talent shows as a child.
Eric will be remembered as a wonderful son, a loving brother, and a great friend. He was always there to extend a helping hand to those around him and will be remembered as the type of man who would, literally, give you the shirt off his back. He was always ready to give advice to others or pick up those who were feeling down or overwhelmed. There is not a person who met him or knew him who does not remember his positivity, his passion for life, his contagious energy, his brilliant laugh, his absolute fearless attitude towards life, or the incredible loyalty he showed on a daily basis for his family and friends.
Eric, we cannot believe you are gone. In so many ways, you were the best of us, and clearly, your many talents were now needed somewhere else. You will forever live on, in our hearts and in the many cherished memories we all share with you. We love you eternally and are incredibly thankful for the plan of salvation and opportunity we will all have to see you again one day.
“Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room,
I am I and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow,
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let me name be ever the household word that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect,
Without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.”
- Henry Scott Holland
The family will receive friends at Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, 1001 Dunson Road Davenport, FL 33896 on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. Following the service at 11:00 A.M. with Bishop Callahan officiating. Interment will be at Wildwood Cemetery, 800 S Woodlawn Ave, Bartow FL 33830. Following the interment, the wake will be at Mary Holland Park, Pavillion 16, 2015 Shumate Dr, Bartow, FL 33830.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eric Gray , please visit Tribute Store