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05/09/14 - NNHS Newsletter - Paul Gresham

Paul Granville Gresham
(03 July 1928 - 02 Apr 20114)

Newport News High School Class of February 1946

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   We have more sad if rather belated news to report today.      Paul Gresham, Class of February 1946, passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, April 02, 2014 at the age of 85. 

From The Daily Press - 05/09/14:

                          Paul Granville Gresham
    PHILADELPHIA, PA - Paul Granville Gresham died April 2, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA surrounded by family after a heroic fight with cancer.

Paul was born on July 3, 1928 in Newport News, VA. He attended Newport News High School and Clemson College, where he majored in Engineering and played football as a defensive tackle.

He continued his education at the Apprentice School of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, which led to his career as a designer. He served in the US Army, the National Guard and was a colonel in the Army Reserves.

Paul was a consummate family man who loved music, literature, science and history. As an eclectic reader, he sat on the board of the Newport News Public Library. He was a deeply loved husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. 

He leaves his beloved wife Laniere Gurley Gresham, his three children, Kathryn Gresham-Lancaster, Robin Gresham-Chin, and Paul David Gresham, their spouses, his five lovely and talented grandchildren and many treasured friends.

Paul's Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, May 17th at the R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home located on 245 S. Armistead Avenue Hampton, VA. Visitation will take place at the funeral home prior to the service from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press on May 9, 2014.

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May 09, 2014
We worked and carpooled together at Newport News Shipbuilding in A P D.
He was a dedicated worker and a good friend.
He will be sadly missed by his family and many friends.
We will keep his family in our prayers.

God Bless,
George & Alice McKenzie
Matthews, NC

~ George McKenzie, Matthews, North Carolina
Contact Me

May 09, 2014

To the Paul Gresham Family my prayers and thoughts are with you,I knew Paul from friendship and a neighbor in Perkins Court in Newport News.

~ Dale Parsons, Franklin, Virginia

May 10, 2014

Paul was a talented and dedicated designer who contributed much to the success of the aircraft carriers designed and built at Newport News in the past few decades. But he also was a natural leader, who often 'made things happen' instead of just accepting what others might consider inevitable or irreversable. He was the kind of guy you could call upon to do the tough tasks, and on more than one occasion, Paul took it on himself to do what needed to be done before being asked. He was an outstanding example of the kind of dedicated designers the apprentice program produced in the 1950's.

~ Bill Lee, Wesley Chapel, North Carolina

Contact Me

May 11, 2014

Paul was a lovely man, from that generation of men that were not afraid to be strong and sensitive at the same time. He and my father were great friends. He always brought a smile to my face with his wit and wisdom. A loving and generous husband, father, and friend. To Lannie and the entire Gresham family, my heartfelt sorrow for your loss. I enjoyed knowing Paul.

May 11, 2014

Paul will always be in my memory from a friendship that grew out of a workplace relationship. We enjoyed golfing together and sharing each other's company. Our prayers are with the family for your loss. May the Lord comfort your hearts during this time.

~ Bert Fowler, Hampton, Virginia

May 12, 2014

My friendship with Paul and Laniere began in 1954 when we were neighbors. I've never known a couple who were more in love and dedicated to each other. Paul was a committed family man, a loving husband and a great friend. He will be missed by so many. My heart aches for Laniere, his children and grandchildren.

~ Marian Daniels

May 13, 2014


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May 13, 2014

   Our deepest condolences are extended to Mr. Gresham's family and friends at this difficult time.

     From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 06/18/14 - "More for     Paul Gresham (February 1946) Obit":

Hello Carol,        6-20-14
Below is some additional information for the Paul Gresham Obit (newsletter for 5-9-14).
Feel free to edit.
Fred W. Field NNHS Class of June 1945

I first met Paul Gresham in the fall of 1938.  After completing my four years at Woodrow Wilson primary, I had entered the 5-low level at Walter Reed intermediate.  The 5th grade was made up of three classes with students coming from Bankhead Magruder, Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington primary schools.  My own class consisted of those from Woodrow Wilson plus a sprinkling from Washington and Jefferson. 

Although Paul was in one of the other classes, I got to know him early for two reasons: First, he had such a dynamic personality that everyone in proximity quickly became aware of him.  Second, he was the grandson of Mom and Pop Gresham, owners of the extremely popular confectionary located just across 25th Street from the school.  Paul often spent his lunch hour helping his grandparents with the crowd.

We both entered NNHS in Sept. 1941. Paul and I tracked along at the same grade levels all the way through high school until just before our scheduled graduation for June 1945.  At that point he chose to stay over for the Fall semester to play one more season of football.  His graduation was with the class of Feb. 1946.

He is prominent in his class Anchor having been a husky 195 lb. tackle Letterman for seasons 1943, 44 and 45. 

       He shows up on the Class Senior Census: 

        Sure to say - “Repeat that.” 

        Admired for - “Athletic ability.”

        Always - “Reading a newspaper.”


My last meeting with Paul was in late 1947.  I had just finished my Navy enlistment.  Paul was waiting for a bus at the corner of 25th and Wickham.  He was wearing the very distinctive uniform of an Army 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper.


On Dec. 19, 2001, my first cousin, George C. Wiatt (1915-1921) died and I learned from the obituary that Paul Gresham was one of the pallbearers.  That news quickly put me in touch with Paul.  We exchanged several letters in the next two years. 


Later I learned from another cousin,       Jeanie Lankes (Hampton HS - ’72 - of VA), that she had lived very close to Paul on Chesapeake Avenue.  Following are some of her recollections.


Fred W. Field,  NNHS Class of June, 1945



Hello Fred,


During my school years, we were neighbors with the Greshams. We were on Chesapeake Avenue, and they were on Braddock Road, overlooking Robinson Park. I knew his children, and still stay in touch with his daughter Robin.

Mr. and Mrs. Gresham moved to a house in Chesapeake Avenue in later years, about three houses down from ours.

Paul was in a serious bridge group with my father,  John “Bud” Lankes (Morrison High School Class of 1933) (06 Apr 1917 - 30 Jan 2010), and my uncle, George Wiatt. They played weekly. Dad thought the world of Paul and even though I didn’t know him all that well, he seemed like a sterling person.


Jeanie Lankes, HHS Class of 1972.

   OHH! Thank you so much, Fred - and Jeanie. You both have my sincerest sympathies on the loss of your friend.  

     Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Prelude No. 6

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(01 Mar 1810 - 17 Oct 1849)

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