Priscilla King Gray died at home with family members present on February 8, 2023. She
was born in Providence, RI on March 4, 1933, the eldest daughter of Olive W. King and
Andrew H. King. She grew up in Padanarum, MA and spent many happy years sailing
with the Mariners. She graduated from Dartmouth High School in 1951 and went on to
Wheaton College in Norton, MA. It was through a blind date arranged by a friend at
Wheaton, that Priscilla met the great love of her life, Paul E. Gray. They were married
one month after her graduation from Wheaton on June 18, 1955.
Priscilla was a devoted wife and mother of four children. The family lived in Lexington
and then Winchester, as Paul worked at MIT. The family home in Winchester was always
open to MIT students and faculty. The food was good and the company was warm.
Priscilla loved to entertain. When Priscilla and Paul moved to Cambridge in 1980 to live
on campus, Priscilla happily jumped into a variety of endeavors at the Institute. She
continued to teach crewel embroidery to a wonderful group of women associated with
the Institute. She initiated the Senior Dinners at the President’s home. She was active in
the MIT Women’s League. She co-founded the MIT Public Service Center in 1988 with a
passionate vision of the ways that MIT students could use their innovative gifts, unique
skills and interests, classroom learning, and boundless energy to create change and
build a better world through community, governmental, and corporate partnerships
across the US and throughout the world. The primary goals of the Center are focused
on racial and social justice, through health-equity, climate change and sustainability,
and using tech for social good. The PKG Center at MIT was named after Priscilla in 2015
and was, perhaps, the achievement of which Priscilla was proudest. Throughout the 34
years that Paul and Priscilla lived in Cambridge, Priscilla volunteered at Children’s
Hospital. She loved babies and spent many hours every week, seldom if ever canceling,
rocking and feeding little people whose parents could not always be present. Her work
with the children and staff at Children’s brought her great joy. Priscilla was also a deeply
devoted and active alumna of Wheaton College. In August of 2014, Priscilla and Paul
moved to Newbury Court in Concord, MA. They had many happy years there and so
enjoyed the community and care of friends old and new.
Priscilla was predeceased by her beloved husband Paul, her parents, and her sister,
Martha Erickson Martin. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, Virginia
and Tom Army, Amy and Dave Sluyter, Andrew and Yuki Gray, Weezie and Tim Huyck
and her twelve adoring and devoted grandchildren: Hannah Army, Rachel Army,
Caroline Sluyter (Caroline Perry), Stephanie Charbonnet (Jim Charbonnet), Priscilla Elliot
(Selvin Elliott), Elizabeth Army, Catherine Army, Marie Gray (Julien Delmas), Paul Gray,
Taylor Huyck, Andrew Huyck (Jessica Huyck), and Cynthia Huyck. Priscilla was
absolutely delighted to welcome six great grandchildren: Re’Lee and Virginia Elliott,
Tarran and Avery Perry-Sluyter, and Tyler and Simon Charbonnet. Priscilla is also
survived by her beloved sister and brother-in-law, Cynthia and Lou Schueler, her
cherished nephew, Jeffrey Erickson, four additional nieces and a nephew, and their spouses and families.
The family wishes to thank the staffs of Newbury Court and Rivercrest, and the wonderful group of
caretakers/aides, schedulers, and the nurse manager of Deaconess Abundant Life
Services who made it possible for Priscilla to remain in her home and die there. We are
also grateful for the attentive and compassionate services of the Care Dimension
Hospice. We offer special thanks to Priscilla’s compassionate and wise PCP, Dr. A. Patrick
Egan, who walked with her through the final challenging years of her life.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the O’Neill Funeral Home in Middleboro,
MA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Priscilla’s memory to
the MIT PKG Public Service Center (Gifts may be made to MIT for the Priscilla King Gray
Public Service Center Fund #3648600. Credit card gifts can be made using the following link:
https://giving.mit.edu/priscilla-gray . Checks should be payable to MIT and mailed to: MIT, PO Box
412926, Boston MA 02441-2926. Include a note to indicate the gift is in memory of Priscilla Gray.) or to
the Priscilla King Gray ‘55 Scholarship Fund at Wheaton College. (Friends and
family may mail a check to College Advancement Office, Wheaton College, 26, East Main Street, Norton,
MA 02766-2322. Please make checks payable to Wheaton College and indicate that your gift is for The
Priscilla King Gray '55 Scholarship. If friends and family want to give online this is the link to use.
Priscilla will be remembered as an extraordinarily hospitable, friendly, kind, loving, and
community minded woman. Family was the focus and greatest joy of her life: her own
family, her extended family, her friend family, and her MIT family. A Memorial Service
will be held at 1PM on June 19, 2023, at the Hancock United Church of Christ in
Lexington MA with a reception to follow at the church. All are welcome.
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