Timothy Michael Gray slipped away peacefully Sunday, May 09, 2021. He was at home in the loving embrace of his wife; surrounded by family and close friends. His passing followed a courageous and arduous experience with an aggressive Melanoma cancer.
Born to Kenneth T. and Judith I. (Meagher) Gray on June 08, 1962, in Pittsfield, MA, Tim was raised in West Sand Lake, NY. He was a teenager when his dad loaded the family into an RV and relocated them to Hilton Head Island, SC. There Tim married and started his own HVAC business, Gray’s Heating and Air Conditioning, serving local clients for over 30 years.
Tim leaves behind a legacy of a close-knit family and a memory bank full of laughter, love, acceptance, respect, generosity and kindness. He knew no stranger and lent a helping hand whenever he could. When he saw a need, he gave unselfishly without question and without expectation of reciprocity. He and his wife Cindy opened their hearts and home to family, friends and employees providing a welcomed oasis, meals, and a safe haven, bringing out the inherent goodness in others. In doing so they created an extraordinary extended family where differences are set aside and a sense of togetherness creates an amazing cooperative support system. When the house was full, they opened the motorhomes and travel trailers to accommodate the extras and give them a place to call home.
He loved family reunions, get-togethers, traveling, camping and RV-ing. His passion for grilling and barbecue-ing led him down the paths of propane, charcoal and eventually pellets. As a Grill Snob, no match light charcoal or lighter fluid was allowed near his grills. He took pleasure in sharing his enthusiasm with tips, recipes, and by giving away grills. He enjoyed cooking for others and even outfitted one RV with 8 grills. Occasionally he donned a chef’s outfit and entertained guests by cooking on a hibachi grill at his home.
Family and friends recall numerous times when the large yard was crowded with RV’s and 38+ people amenably coordinated usage of the limited bathrooms and single kitchen. They were happy to be together and let Tim do the grilling.
Tim loved trying new things, including learning to snow ski at the age of 45. He had a wonderful sense of humor and his patience knew no bounds. Professionally Tim’s generosity with, and respect of, employees was returned with dedication and loyalty. He took pride in mentoring HVAC technicians and supporting them as they successfully achieved their own goals of starting separate companies.
Deeply loved by his family and friends, Tim is missed and fondly remembered for his smile, kind words and love of people. Among the many nicknames lovingly given to him by family and friends, one of the most cherished is that of “Stod-father.” A moniker created when he married Cindy and went from being her daughter’s god-father to being her step-father.
Although Tim is predeceased by both his parents, he is survived by his loving wife Cindy, sisters: Kenna (Michael) DiBuono of Kingsland, GA; Kerry (Richard) Lenseth of West Sand Lake, NY; Colleen (Daniel) D’Alfonso of Cicero, NY; and Cathleen (Darren) Stricklen of Jacksonville, FL. His survivors also include children Heather (Matthew) Berkey of Ridgeland, SC; Timothy Michael Gray, Jr., of Bluffton, SC; Ashleigh Danielle Gray of Bluffton, SC; Rebecca (Scott) Votino of Manhattan, KS; Lexi Renee James, of Mobile, AL; Jerrod Avan Braxton, Sr., and grandchildren Trenten James Braxton, Kayla Anne Braxton, and Jerrod Avan Braxton, Jr., along with Danica Lynn Berkey and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life is being held on Saturday, May 29, 2021, from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm at Tim and Cindy’s home in Bluffton, SC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.