Funeral held for Harlan coaching legend

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

He was a coach and teacher at Harlan High School for decades, and he could always make his students smile. Friday many of those same students came together to say goodbye to "Doc" Gray.

It's one day to reflect on a lifetime of memories.

"It was the greatest 39 years of my life. I was his sidekick, and we traveled many places to watch basketball, to watch track," said Edell Gray, Jr.

Edell Gray, Jr. had to share his dad with a whole school, but he said he didn't mind.

"People cared for him, and he returned that care back," said Gray, Jr.

The support of this community was obvious at Doc Gray's funeral service. Harlan Independent Schools dismissed at noon, that way folks could come say goodbye.

"He just influenced and brought so many smiles and so much love and inspiration to so many people," said Maralee Holder, who coached with Doc Gray.

"Everybody thinks of Harlan when they think of Doc - or Doc when they think of Harlan," said Kevin Ball, Harlan Athletic Director.

Even though he is gone, his legacy remains.

"Help people, regardless of class, regardless of race, of statute. If you can help your fellow man, that's what he did," said Gray, Jr.

Doc will be buried early next week in Conway, Arkansas.

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