Naomi “Sissy” Marie Watts Gray, 76, of Statesville, N.C., passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Naomi was born January 10, 1944, to the late Marie Watts and Harold Rucker in Iredell County, N.C. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Mary (Tib) Summers.

Those left to cherish her precious memory are her husband of 53 years, Gene Gray; son, Timothy Parker (Sandy); daughters, Hope Gallepie (Chris), Traci Gray (Thomas) and Nakeeta Sharpe (Todd); grandchildren, Jasmine Gray, Torie Sharpe, Christie Gillespie, Ahdasia Polk, Collin Gillespie, Zariah Parsons, Shaniqua White and Ty Parson; and great-grandchild, Saveah Nichols.

She is further survived by special friends, Dorothy White, Flichsa Sharpe, Pamela White, Valeria Mayberry, Averya Funderburk, Trivia Sharper and Flora Griffin; several nephews, nieces, God-children and other special family and friends.

Naomi was a member at Bethel Congregation Church and when her health allowed, she was part of the choir as well as the director. Having the love of singing and fellowship, she started the children’s choir at Bethel, so she could combine her passion for singing and helping children grow up. Naomi loved children. She had four children of her own but so many people considered her to be like a mother to them. Naomi was a kind woman who would open her home to anyone who needed it. She loved to cook and bake for family and friends and could cook anything you could think of. She was a people person and loved to entertain. She loved the ocean. Above all else, she loved her family, and if she knew you, you were family. She loved everyone and loved to hug you and show you how she felt and make you feel loved. She was especially fond of those she watched grow up and took care of in the Steele Family and Payne Family. Throughout her career she worked at Rubbermaid and RHA, however she loved taking care of people most.

Visitation for Naomi will be held at Bethel Congregational Church on Saturday, September 5, 2020, at 11 a.m. with a celebration of life starting at 12 noon with Pastor James E. Williams officiating. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Naomi’s memory may be made to Donations to Family, 456 Virginia Avenue, Statesville, NC 28677

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com for the Gray family.

Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the family.

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