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Willa Joy (Wassenaar) Gray

August 2, 1932 ~ April 9, 2022 (age 89)


Willa Joy Gray passed away peacefully on April 9, 2022. She was predeceased by her husband John W. Gray in 2017. Touchingly, she passed away on what would have been their 67th wedding anniversary.

Joy was born on August 2, 1932 in Pella, Iowa and later moved to Orlando, Florida were she spent most of her childhood.  Joy played tennis and basketball in high school and loved to paint.  Joy went on to Stetson University, and later transferred to the University of Florida and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. 

After college graduation Joy moved to Brooksville, Florida to begin a teaching career, and it was here that she met John Gray, a fellow teacher, who would later become her husband.

Joy and John moved to Naples in 1955 where Joy continued her teaching career and helped John establish the first State Farm Insurance Agency in South Florida. They raised two children together, Thom (Michelle) Gray of Naples and Amy (Adam) Orkin of Milton, Georgia.

Joy had a great love of orchids and quilting, and was a member of both guilds. She was also an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Old Naples. She and her husband were avid travelers and enjoyed many trips around the world. They also enjoyed spending summers in their home in Highlands, North Carolina where they could escape the heat of Naples.

Additionally, Joy leaves behind several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.


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