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Funeral service for Mrs. LaRevia "La" Andrea Dennis Gray, Gadsden, who died on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, will be at noon, on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham, with entombment at Elmwood Cemetery. The body will lie in repose at the church from 9 a.m. until the hour of service. The family hour will be on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Gadsden City School Auditorium. 

LaRevia Andrea Dennis Gray, "La" as she was so affectionately called, was born in Birmingham to Alma P. Dennis and the late Robert L. Dennis Sr. 

Her growth and development were fostered by many individuals in the greater Birmingham area. She served as a Girl Scout, sang in the youth choir at church and also enjoyed dancing. At a young age, her gregarious, fun-loving, outspoken but warm personality developed into a bold, unique leadership style that became her widely known trademark. 

La and her parents were faithful members of the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church. She made the decision to deepen her commitment to Christ at the age of 9. Upon her confession of Christ, she was baptized by the late Dr. John T. Porter and continued her quest to grow in faith. At the time of her farewell, she was notably a 50+ year member of the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church. 

Her formative years began at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School. She later attended Center Street Elementary and eventually graduated from Shades Valley High School as a member of the first integrated graduating class. La forged through and obtained her core education during a tumultuous time in the history of segregation in Birmingham. Her experiences during this trying time in history helped her to gain greater understanding of the challenges faced by minorities and spearheaded her determination to always strive for excellence. 

Upon matriculation from high school, La's collegiate career began at Jacksonville State University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Following the completion of her bachelor's degree, she joined the work force as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Etowah County for the State of Alabama. While working, she realized her potential was limitless and made the decision to pursue and successfully complete her Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Criminology. 

La's career was filled with a plethora of honors and accolades. Her efforts were primarily focused toward children and youth with the knowledge that these individuals had potential that was malleable if given the right tools. At the dawning of her career in Gadsden, she served as an emergency respite care volunteer, counselor at The Bridge outpatient substance abuse program, and also served as a counselor at Mountain View, which is a facility for youth who struggle with behavioral issues and substance abuse. 

Mid-career she partnered with the late Dr. Joan Tooley in developing operation "Safe Place," which is an initiative to provide a safe haven for children in hazardous situations. Also, she worked intimately with the C.I.T.Y (Community Intensive Treatment for Youth) program now known as SPAN (Special Programming for Achievement Network), which is a multifaceted program that transforms the lives of misguided youth so that they may seamlessly integrate into society. Toward the end of her career she proudly continued to engage in community efforts by serving as an Executive Board Member of the Boys and Girls Club, a Board Member of the EMA (Emergency Management Agency) of Etowah County, a Board Member of the Greater Gadsden Housing Authority in Gadsden, Board Member of the Darden Rehabilitation Center in Gadsden, and many others. Her political affiliations included the Etowah County Democratic Women's Club, NAACP and SCLC. She was also a dedicated member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. 

She was preceded in death by her father, grandparents and aunts. 

Her greatest treasures were her mother, Mrs. Alma P. Dennis, who is a visionary in her own right; beloved husband, Charles A. Gray; three children, Charles Brandon Gray, Whitney A. Gray and Devin (Terrion) Talley; and three grandchildren, Christian, Jason and Noah Talley, with whom she is leaving her cherished memories and distinguished legacy. She also leaves to cherish her memories: special family, extended family, special friends and colleagues. 

Service by Professionals of Gadsden Memorial Funeral Home.

LaRevia Gray
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  • Monday, October 22, 2018
    Our staff will continue to keep your family in our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to serve your family.
    ~ Gadsden Memorial FH
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
    I am sorry for your loss and wish to extend my condolences. Death was never part of the equation that God had purposed for us. We were designed an created to live forever. He has promised to eliminate not only death, but all things that cause us any kind of pain and suffering. (Revelation 21:4) Soon the words regarding the resurrection found at John 5:28, 29 will take place and give us opportunity to welcome back our loved ones to a restored paradise earth and live forever. (Psalms 37:29) May these promise that are found in the Bible bring you a measure of hope and comfort.
    ~ Denise Douglas   Fostoria, OH
  • Monday, October 22, 2018
    I am so very saddened by the news of La's passing. We worked together for many years through the Juvenile Court system, developing a long-standing friendship. She was special. My deepest sympathy and prayers for strength to her family.
    ~ Mitzi Ford   Talladega, AL