Obituary John Michael Gray III of Southern Pines

John Michael Gray, III, 72, of Southern Pines, NC (formerly of Groton, CT) passed away peacefully at FirstHealth Hospice House on Monday, June 28, 2021 after a courageous battle against MDS and Leukemia. 

He was born in 1948 in Mobile, AL to John and Marion Gray. 

Mike is survived by his wife of 46 years, Debra Gray; two daughters, Corinne Gray and Krista Gray (Greg Rust); three grandchildren, Jaden Michael Del Risco Gray, Colton Michael Rust and Boden Gray Rust; his sister Brenda Jacklin (Charlie), brother Marion Gray (Judy); sister-in-law Janet French Gray (Terry), and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and close friends.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother Wyatt Gray. 

Mike graduated the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1972 retiring as a Captain in the U.S. Coast Guard after 27 years of service.  He was selected and attended the U.S. Army War College in 1991.  He was stationed from Sitka, AK to San Juan, Puerto Rico and along the East Coast.  Throughout his career his achievements and commendations were numerous.  He also earned his M.B.A. from Suffolk University and a Master’s Degree in Economics from Brown University.    

He loved boating, fishing, working outdoors and golf.  Above all, Mike was proudest of his family. 

A visitation will be held on Saturday, July 3 from 10:30 – 11:30AM at Boles Funeral Home, 425 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Southern Pines, NC 28387.  A funeral service will begin at 11:30AM and burial will follow with military honors at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Southern Pines, NC. 

In lieu of flowers, and in memory of Mike please consider a donation to the Coast Guard Foundation at  where you may type his name in the memoriam section or by mail to: Coast Guard Foundation 394 Taugwonk Road Stonington, CT 06378-1807

Online condolences may be left at  

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.  

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