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Richard DeSayles Grey, 59, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and a long-time resident of Atlanta, Georgia, passed peacefully on March 18, 2018 after a battle with cancer. To call Grey a renaissance man would be an understatement, for he assembled a resume of skills and hobbies that set him apart from all but a few.
First and foremost, Grey was a teacher and he loved to share his passions with others. Having mastered flying and rock climbing, Grey delighted in helping others excel in those challenging endeavors. Although he claimed to have a fear of heights, Grey logged more than 2,000 hours of flight time as an FAA certified flight instructor, teaching pilots to navigate the skies safely through Aviation Career Enrichment (ACE). As a veteran rock climbing instructor, Grey taught thousands of beginners to climb and belay safely during his 22 years at Atlanta Rocks! Indoor Climbing.
As if those pursuits weren’t enough, Grey was an avid skateboarder with a dozen skateboards to his name. On those rare occasions when his feet remained on the ground, Grey loved to build model airplanes and trains, enjoyed photography and grew vegetables in his garden. He also loved talking with people in far-away places on his HAM radio.
Richard DeSayles Grey was preceded in death by his mother Johnnie Blye Wilson. He is survived by his cousins Cathy Crawford, Carolyn Creagh, Veronica McCovery, all of Mobile, Alabama, Lynette McCoy of Maricopa, Arizona, along with countless friends he met along the way.
Grey was laid to rest — adorned in his flight jacket and aviator’s cap — next to his beloved mother at Mitchell Cemetery in Blandon Springs, Alabama on March 24, 2018. A Celebration of Grey’s life will be held at Atlanta Rocks!, 1019A Collier Road, NW, Atlanta, GA, on April 10, 2018 at 7 pm.
Atlanta Rocks! and ACE will be donating money to offset the cost of a headstone for Rich. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Marjorie Perry at (404) 822-7674.
Photos above are from Richard Grey’s Memorial Service at Atlanta Rocks! on April 10, 2018.
If you would like to view or download a copy of Grey’s memorial program, please click here.