February 1, 2005

Lurline deLois Castleberry Molony-Gray

Lurline deLois Castleberry Molony-Gray, 83, died Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005, following a struggle with cancer.

She was born Dec. 4, 1921, in Glennville, Ga., daughter of Riley Varion Castleberry and Mary Gladys Jordan Castleberry. She grew up in southern Alabama and the south Georgia town of Reidsville, where she graduated from Reidsville High School in 1940. After graduation she moved to Macon, Ga., where she graduated from beauty college and worked as a beautician.

In Macon, she married June 15, 1948, William Joseph "Bill" Molony, an Army Drill Sergeant stationed at nearby Camp Wheeler. Bill was killed in action during World War II, among the first to cross the Rhine into Germany. Lurline had just given birth to William Joseph "Bill" Molony Jr. Feb. 23, 1945, exactly two weeks prior to his father's death.

Lurline moved to Forest Park. She married her second husband, James Robert "Jim" Gray Oct. 1, 1948. The couple moved to Decatur and on July 19, 1950, she gave birth to her second son, Robert H. "Bobby" Gray. The family moved back to Forest Park and gave birth to her third son, John Riley Gray, Sept. 18, 1957.

For most of her adult life she has worked outside the home. She graduated Massey Business College in the mid 1950s, and obtained a position as Tax Examiner, and eventually department manager with the Internal Revenue Service. Among highlights of her service with IRS, she was honored by being selected to input the first national tax return into a computer. She retired in the mid 1980s, after over 30 years with the IRS, and moved to her present home in Morrow.

She was an extremely active member of the Forest Park United Methodist Church dating back to its earliest beginnings in the mid 1950s. During those years she served her church in many capacities including Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member, President for many terms of the United Methodist Women, Trustee, District and Conference officer, and Lay Speaker, often delivering the Sunday morning sermons in the absence of the Pastors.

She was an active member for many years in the Forest Park Women's Club. She was an active member and state level officer in the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) and as such attended a number of the group's national conferences as local and state representative. For her dedication and work, she received a special national award at the NARFE convention just weeks before her diagnosis of cancer.

She has also served for many years as an election poll volunteer. Due to her illness, she recently missed voting in the national elections for the first time since the early 1940s. Up through this past September, she has continued to attend her annual high school reunions, for which she has been an active organizer and promoter.

She greatly loved both her closest and extended family members and traveled extensively to visit most of them regularly. She was an active organizer and promoter of the annual Jordan Family Reunions held in Reidsville for over three decades.

Through her research and that of other family members, she can trace her roots back to Silas Samuel Jordan, who was a part of the original Jamestown settlement in 1609, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Samuel was a member of the first Virginia House of Burgesses, the first legislative body in the New World. Many of her relatives were Methodist Ministers, including one who was a founder of many South Georgia churches and the Tattnall County Campground.

She is survived by her three sons, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Directors (formerly Southside Chapel), 6362 S. Lee St., Morrow, Ga. on Wednesday, Feb. 2 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be conducted both at Forest Park United Methodist Church on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m. and at Reidsville United Methodist Church on Friday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Interment will be at Shiloh Methodist Church Cemetery in Reidsville, Ga.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Forest Park United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1632, Forest Park, GA 30297.

Thomas L. Scroggs Funeral Directors (formerly Southside Chapel), 6362 S. Lee St., Morrow, Ga.