Richard William Grey, 74, of Brevard, NC, died peacefully after a courageous six year battle with cancer. A native of Westchester County, NY, he was the son of the late William Leon Grey and Marguerite Keifer Grey.
Richard is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Janet Fowler Grey, and two beloved daughters, Jennifer Kingsbury of Loves Park, IL, and Kimberly Soule, (Joshua) of Dover, DE. He was devoted to his three grandchildren, Colin Soule, Cooper Soule and Charlotte Kingsbury, all of whom loved visiting Granddad at his lake house in the mountains of Brevard.
Richard spent his childhood in Hartsdale, NY, where he loved playing golf in the summer and ice hockey during the cold winter months. He graduated from Trinity Pawling School in Pawling, NY in 1965. He continued his education at Susquehanna University, where he became a member of Theta Chi fraternity, and pursued his love of golf as a member of the golf team. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration. It was at Susquehanna where he met and proposed to fellow student and his future wife, Janet Fowler.
Richard began his business career with Mobil Oil Corporation in New York. He later moved to the Mobil Chemical division which took the family to northwestern New Jersey. After helping to oversee the construction and start-up of a large plastic extrusion plant in New Jersey, he decided to leave Mobil Corporation and began a 25 year sales and marketing career in the paper and packaging industry.
An extrovert by nature, he enjoyed all aspects of sales and marketing: the challenge of making a sale, the variety of people he came to know as clients, and the world-wide travel opportunities his work offered. He held positions in a number of large corporations, including Federal Paper Board Company, Inc., Bobst Group, Stevens International, and Langston Corporation, where he concluded his sales and marketing career as Langston’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. As a result of career changes, the family relocated from New Jersey to Rockford, IL in 1986.
In 2003 Richard realized a dream he had had for many years, when he and Janet purchased a small manufacturing business in Rosman, NC. He had tired of corporate management, and wanted to own a business that would serve the needs of customers, but would also reward the work and dedication of employees. Although the purchase presented risk, the acquisition of Genie Products, Inc. became one of the most fulfilling experiences of Richard and Janet’s journey together. They loved their new home in the mountains of North Carolina, and valued their coworkers at Genie Products. At the time of Richard’s retirement in 2014, the company was sold to new owners.
Apart from his career involvements, Richard enjoyed two main hobbies; golf and model railroading. He was an active member of the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club in Hendersonville, NC. He played many rounds of golf at his home course in Brevard, as he had at clubs in Rockford, IL and Beloit, WI. His most memorable golf experience was a trip to Scotland, where he and three friends had the opportunity to play several of the most revered courses in the country.
In addition to his hobbies, Richard also enjoyed the 15 years he spent as a volunteer fireman while living in New Jersey. He was especially proud and honored to attain the position of Chief. Over the years he continued to have great admiration and respect for the men and women who serve their communities in this courageous manner.
A private memorial service was held on November 12, 2021, at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. The family wishes to thank the many friends, relatives, and caregivers, who offered heartfelt encouragement and support to Richard over the course of his illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Transylvania County Library Foundation, 212 South Gaston St., Brevard, NC, 28712, or to a local volunteer fire company in one’s own community.
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Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is honored to serve the family.