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07/29/12 - NNHS Newsletter - Grayson Williams

Franklin Grayson Williams
(28 Feb 1924 - 26 July 2012)

Newport News High School Class of February 1943

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   We have another sad edition of the NNHS Newsletter today.
    Grayson Williams, Class of February 1943, passed away at his home in Yorktown on Thursday, July 26, 2012, at the age of 88.

   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 07/30/12 -"  F. Grayson Williams (Class of Feb 1943) Obit.":

Hello Carol,        7-30-12

The obit. of F. Grayson Williams, NNHS Class of Feb. 1943. appears in today's Daily Press.

He was the mystery man described in NLs
1-23-10 and 1-18-10.

Nostalgic best wishes,

Fred W. Field
Loma Linda & Fullerton, CA

   Thank you so much, Fred.  You have my sincerest sympathies on the passing of your friend.

From the Daily Press - 07/29/12:

               F. Grayson Williams



YORKTOWN - F. Grayson Williams, 88, of Yorktown, Va., died peacefully at home on July 26, 2012.

Grayson was born on Feb. 28, 1924, in Hampton, Va., to the late Charles Franklin Williams and Toano Vaiden Strange. He graduated from Newport News High School, where he earned the Julian Gordon trophy for football and two college scholarship offers. Those plans were deferred, when Grayson became a U.S. Marine, where he served 29 months on the USS Iowa. He married Nancy Robins Gary, on Dec. 28, 1944, and when he was discharged in 1945, took the scholarship for football and played for Furman University. Upon graduation, he began his teaching and coaching career in South Carolina. He returned to Virginia, where he earned a graduate degree at William and Mary, and taught and coached football at York High School until his retirement in 1986.


Grayson Williams



Grayson was a man who embraced life, enjoyed the simple things, loved his family, friends and career as an educator and coach. He loved to engage people he met; share stories and listen to theirs. His heart was as big as his presence and he will be missed by those he touched.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sisters, Irene Mark and Betsy Marks.

Left to cherish his memory, his wife of 68 years, Nancy G. Williams and their five children, Franklin Grayson Williams Jr. (Sandy), Kathryn W. Jones (Bill), Gary 'Charlie Boy' Williams (Karen), Mark Robins Williams, and Nancy Elizabeth 'Beth' Pratt (Bull); six grandchildren, Alease, Russell, Chris, Suzanne, Paul and Robin; and nine great-grandchildren, Sam, Sawyer, Connor, Logan, James, Jenna, Mason, Gracelyn and Rylee. He also leaves extended family members and a host of friends, some lifelong, as well as former students and players, whom he impacted in his positive, inspiring way.

The family will receive visitors at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at Peninsula Funeral Home, followed by the memorial service at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Peninsula Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Grayson's honor to a local animal shelter. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press from July 29 to July 30, 2012. (There were originally 36 Entries in the Guest Book; most were unfortunately lost.)
View Guest Book


July 29, 2012

Grayson Williams gave everyone "his heart and soul." He.....

~ Betty Watson

July 29, 2012
To Nancy and all the family, I am so sorry for your loss.....

July 29, 2011
To say I am blessed to have had you as my uncle, teacher.....

~ Laurie Artman
July 29, 2012

Beth, I will miss his phone calls, sharing a joke, and what.....

~  Joanie Karavias

July 29, 2012

Beth, Mark, and family, My deepest sympathy for the both of.....

~ Joanie Karavias

July 29, 2012


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  Our deepest sympathies are extended to the Williams family and their friends at this difficult time.

   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 10/08/12 -"RE:  Grayson Williams (Class of Feb 1943) Obit.":

Hello Carol, Mon. Oct. 8, 2012

I see that the Grayson Williams obit. is still "In Process."

He was mentioned in the Robert Fulcher entry in 1-18-10.

My response followed in 1-23-10 which also included some extract from the Feb. 1947 Anchor.

If you wish, I can take another look at my Anchor and see if anything more can be gleaned.

Fred W. Field
Loma Linda & Fullerton, CA

     Thanks for reassembling all the elements for me, Fred.  As you have no doubt surmised by now, "IN PROCESS" can mean many things, but more often than not - as in this case - it simply means I am overwhelmed by other things.

  From Robert Fulcher ('64) of VA - 01/17/10 - " NNHS Grad Class of 1942":

Good evening, Carol,

The other day I had an eye appointment and was sitting in the waiting room waiting for my turn. I was sitting beside a gentleman and we started talking and I found out that he graduated from NNHS class of 42. His last name was Williams. I can't remember his first name. He told me he played varsity football. After graduation he said he went into the Marine Corps for three years and was stationed on the battleship Iowa and was in the Pacific Theater during the war. After the war and sometime later he told me he coached football at York High School, varsity and junior varsity, and loved every minute of it. He has been a peninsula resident all his life. He was such a nice fellow. A chance meeting and you find out we went to the same school. Mr. Williams graduated before I was born.
That brief encounter made my day.

I just wanted to share this with you
Robert Fulcher
Class of 1964

   WOWZERONI! Thanks so much, Robert - what a great story!

   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 01/21/10 - " Robert Fulcher's ('64 - of VA) 1-18-10":

Hello Carol,        Jan. 21, 2010
I think I can identify the interesting NNHS football star that Robert Fulcher describes in the 01-18-2010 newsletter. He is probably (Franklin) Grayson Williams, Class of Feb. 1943.  Perhaps confusion over the class year stems from Grayson's discussing his last football season, Fall of 1942.
I knew Grayson personally from about 1934 when he briefly lived at 813-30th Street.  This was next door to my grandmother's house at 817 (813 would also be   Joe Madagan's ('57 - of FL) home a couple of decades later). 
Page 47 of the Feb. 1947 Anchor has brief bios. on the 8 graduating lettermen.  Grayson's bio. describes him much as I remember:

"This Newport News High School Typhoon Squad will lose one of its most valuable players when Grayson Williams graduates.  He is credited with three years' service on the Varsity, and is a three-year letterman.  His pleasing personality and cheerful disposition are familiar to everyone of the players on the team.  He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds."
I am glad to hear that Grayson is still around and living on the Peninsula.  I hope someone in NN is able to contact him and let him know that his fame is perpetuated.  And also that the little kid from next door still has fond memories of him.

Nostalgic best wishes, Fred
Fred W. Field
Fullerton, CA 

   WOWZERONI! Thanks so much, Fred!


   From Fred Field (June '45) of CA - 10/11/12 -"More on  Grayson Williams (Class of Feb 1943)":

Hello Carol, Thu. Oct. 11, 2012

This from page 47 of the Feb. 1943 Anchor:


Grayson Williams The NNHS Typhoon Squad will lose one of its most valuable players when Quarterback Grayson Williams graduates. He is credited with three year's service on the Varsity, and is a three-year letterman. His pleasing personality and cheerful disposition are familiar to everyone of the players on the team. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds.

Fred W. Field
Loma Linda & Fullerton, CA

    Thank you so much, Fred.  Once again, you have my condolences.


 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

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