Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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A Godly life ended January 6, 2020, when Essie Nicholson Gray was called to be with our Heavenly Father. Essie was born to the late Mr. Anderson and Flora George Nicholson, September 21, 1929 in Brewton, Ala.

At an early age she joined the Greater Pine Grove Baptist Church and grew up as a faithful attendant in church and Sunday school.  While in Key West, she was an active member with St. James Missionary Baptist Church.  After her retirement, she moved to Avon Park and became a member of Beulah Baptist Church.  There she taught Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and served where she was needed in the church.  She loved her Church Family.

She received her education through Southern Normal School and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Alabama State College and a Master’s degree from Florida A&M University.

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She was married to the late Lewis Granberry and the late Willie Gray.

Essie served in the field of education for over 35 years.  She was a dedicated high school teacher with the Monroe County School District with over 20 years of service.  Throughout her career, she earned numerous awards and recognitions, including teacher of the year.  She was the first to teach Black History in the high school setting in Key West.  Her creativity and passion impacted hundreds of students throughout her 30 plus years as an educator.  Many of her students kept in contact with her and shared their career success with her as recently as 2019.

Spending time with her family gave her the most joy.  She enjoyed getting together each year for the family reunions, birthday celebrations and holidays.

Essie is preceded in death by her father and mother; her 12 brothers and sisters; her husband, Willie; her son, Karl; a daughter, Casey.

She is survived by her daughter, Angela Fisher (Andre); four granddaughters, Briana, Chardai, Jala and Nyima and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral services for Mrs. Essie Nicholson Gray was held Sun., Jan. 12, 2020, at 2:30PM  at Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church (1848 Kirkland Road, Brewton, Ala.s) with it’s pastor, Reverend Robert Straughn officiating.

Interment was immediately following services at Bergen Memorial Cemetery, Brewton, Ala.

Professional care and final arrangements were entrusted to Presley-Fluker Funeral Directors of Evergreen and Brewton, Ala.