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Irene Keesecker Gray

Irene Keesecker Gray, age 88, Unicoi, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 18, 201 7 at her home. She was born on June 28, 1929 in Unicoi County, but had lived in West Palm Beach for forty years and Okeechobee, FL for eleven years before returning to Unicoi earlier this year. Mrs. Gray is a daughter of the late P. M. and Pauline Keesecker. Irene graduated from Unicoi County High School, Carson-Newman College and Florida Atlantic University. She was an educator. Irene taught at various schools including Martin Chapel Elementary in Erwin, TN, Haynesfield Elementary, Bristol, TN, and North Palm Beach Elementary, West Palm Beach, FL. She served as a full time President of the Classroom Teachers for Palm Beach County, FL from 1986-1990 representing over four thousand teachers. Following her retirement she enjoyed traveling with her husband in their motor home. Irene was of the Baptist faith.

Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-three years, Jerome M. Gray on February 18, 2017 and her only child, Jerome M. “Bubba” Gray in 2014; six brothers: Sammy Keesecker in 2011, A. G. Keesecker in 2013, Michael Keesecker in 2014, Conrad Keesecker in 2015, Steven Keesecker in 2017, P. M. Keesecker, Jr. in 2017; sister, Nancy Bogart in 2013; sister-in-law, Penny Keesecker in 2012; nephews: Randy, Mark and Matthew Keesecker.

She leaves behind to cherish her memories, two brothers: Karl Keesecker and his wife, Teresa, John Keesecker and his wife, Ann, all of Erwin; one sister, Katrinka Quillen and husband Prezzle, Kingsport; brother-in-law, Howard Bogart, Erwin; sisters-in-law: Margaret Keesecker, Newport News, Anita Keesecker, Grove City, OH, Carol Keesecker, Erwin; numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 P. M. on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in the Evergreen Cemetery Mausoleum. Dr. Chris Bogart will officiate. Interment will follow.

Flowers will be accepted, those wishing may make memorial contributions to Unicoi County Heritage Museum, the place of her birth, 529 Federal Hatchery Road, Erwin, TN 37650 or to the Unicoi County High School Library Fund, 700 S. Mohawk Drive, Erwin, TN 37650, honoring her love for students.

Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Gray/Keesecker family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at

Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Gray/Keesecker family. (423) 743-1380.