Larry GrayLarry GrayJune 15, 1949 – July 21, 2020Southern Shores, NCOuter Banks native Larry Grey rode his first wave in 1954. Sliding down an exquisite glassy proper and right into a ardour that may carry 1000’s extra waves and final a lifetime. On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Larry rode one remaining wave to everlasting peace. In between these two waves, one actual and the opposite transcendental, an iconic life born of that very same ardour served to remodel not solely Larry, but additionally the whole lifestyle on these sandy islands we name residence.It’s tough to place any life into a couple of quick paragraphs, and Larry’s transformative existence is not any exception. Nonetheless, if we have a look at among the main concepts that outlined his time on earth, we will at the very least get an concept of the person that he was and the influence that he had. To Larry, there have been quite a few concepts that function a lens for us: browsing, athleticism, conservancy, fishing, artwork, and, most significantly, household.After that fateful first wave, Larry went on to assist encourage a technology of surfers on the Outer Banks. He traveled the world in quest of browsing scorching spots and in pursuit of that good wave, bringing residence tales that others would go on to emulate. Through the mid-1970s he lived for 2 winters on the well-known Hawaiian North Shore, browsing Sundown Seaside alongside legendary surf icon Eddie Aikau. Maybe one in every of his largest achievements on this planet of browsing got here in 1970, when he received the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Centennial Surf Competitors, performing an ideal frontside 360 throughout his set to edge out the challengers. His brothers Tony and Ronnie say that a few of their very own greatest moments whereas browsing had been alongside their Massive Kahuna brother Larry.In fact, browsing requires no small quantity of athletic expertise and Larry was not missing in that division. Whereas attending Elizabeth Metropolis Excessive College (1964-’68) he turned the ‘Sophomore Sensation’ on his basketball workforce throughout one evening when he scored 30 factors in a single sport. He went on to steer the Yellowjackets to 3 years of success throughout his tenure. His siblings fondly bear in mind their entire household– led by their dad and mom and Outer Banks’ stalwarts Walter and Estelle Grey– piling within the automotive to go watch each single sport.After highschool, Larry turned his athletic skills to the game of working and he went on to set quite a few private bests in a spread of distances, from the 5K to the Marathon. Getting up at four am to keep away from the oppressive mid-day warmth of the seashore, he would lope gracefully together with a bunch of native working buddies for mile after mile.This explicit ardour of Larry’s additionally introduced up one other: conservancy. Larry’s love of working led him to prepare the primary annual Nags Head Woods 5K Run in 1982. A serious objective of the race was to permit people from all walks of life to expertise the great thing about the Nags Head Woods and hopefully flip their eye towards its preservation. The Nature Conservancy Nags Head Woods Protect is an everyday beneficiary of a portion of the run’s income. In 1996, a Coastland Occasions article mentioned of Larry that the “tone of the run might be said to be an extension of his personality.”Along with beginning the 5K, Larry’s love of conservancy, athleticism, and browsing led him to assist discovered the Outer Banks chapter of the Surfrider Basis in 1993. A corporation that also helps protect these shores to today, the Surfrider Basis has taken on points reminiscent of water high quality and offshore vitality whereas striving to offer again to the group by way of scholarship packages and seashore clean-ups. Larry additionally pursued different conservation efforts by serving as a board member for the Nags Head Woods Protect and, early on in his skilled profession, as a park ranger for the Cape Hatteras Nationwide Seashore (U.S. Nationwide Park Service).In fact, it’s exhausting to say Larry and his profession with out instantly pondering of Grey’s Household Division Retailer. Based in 1948 by Walter and Estelle, Grey’s started as a beachside store in Nags Head that the entire household lived above and labored for. Ultimately, Larry, his brother Ronnie, and his sister Julie would take over the enterprise and oversee 40 plus years of success, increasing, at one time, to 7 completely different areas up and down the coast.Along with monetary success, Grey’s has sought through the years to help the local people. That is due, in no small half, to Larry’s love of his island residence. Beneath his watchful and caring eye, Grey’s has sponsored the native Relay for Life and March of Dimes, contributed generously to the Dare Schooling Basis, and sponsored quite a few native little league groups (which Larry usually helped coach).In 1983, Grey’s Household Retailer, together with different pioneering people, additionally helped begin the Outer Banks Discussion board, a neighborhood non-profit establishment that has labored exhausting through the years to counterpoint the Outer Banks by bringing in a broad vary of cultural leisure. Once more, Larry’s presence on this can’t be ignored; as a lover of music, notably the Different Rock motion of the late 70s, 80s, and 90s, and as an completed painter who studied underneath native inventive legend, Glenn Eure, Larry was a real connoisseur who wished to share his ardour with these round him.One other space that’s not possible to separate from one’s ideas of Larry is deep sea fishing. Though his sister Julie, a champion fisher herself, would argue that he solely received began so he might show he was simply pretty much as good as her, Larry managed to develop fairly the status for himself over the previous 20 years. Recognized fondly amongst his fishing buddies because the “Cobia Killer,” Larry offered the primary course for a whole lot of meals together with his household and buddies through the years. He additionally used social media to share footage of his oceanic conquests and to regale us all with tales of his adventures together with his seamates, notably these occasions he spent with Captains Ronnie O’Neal and Rick Caton (aka Captain Cussword).Larry’s best enterprise, nevertheless, started in 1997 when he and his spouse on the time, Kathy Bowman, gave start to their son Matthew. For Larry, this was an introduction of pleasure into his life that he didn’t notice was lacking and was past evaluate. Even after he and Kathy divorced, Larry poured each ounce of affection he might into the elevating of his baby. Larry took Matthew on many fishing journeys and helped him to develop a ardour for sport, notably baseball. Identical to Larry did in his youth, Matthew has used that keenness and expertise to start to vary the world round him for the higher.Larry Grey was a surfer, a conservationist, an athlete, an artist, and an iconic Outer Banks determine. He was a brother, a son, an uncle, a mentor, a pal, and a father. He was a person who cherished the world round him and labored his complete life to make it higher for us all. He was, in accordance with his sister Julie, “a bridge among people… well traveled, well lived, well loved, and generously given.”One of many final issues Larry mentioned was a suggestion of recommendation: “Enjoy these days… make sure you remember and put it in your ‘memory banks.’” We’ll, Larry. Saying you’ll be missed is an understatement of epic proportions however these of us left behind can take some small consolation understanding that you’ve lastly discovered peace. May tight traces and head-high waves discover you in eternity.Larry was preceded in demise by his dad and mom, Walter and Estelle Grey. He’s survived by his son Matthew, his ex-wife Kathy, daughter-in-law Ashley, his siblings Walter, Tony, Julie, and Ronnie, his nieces and nephews Owen, Jenna, Dalen, William, Patrick, Rachel, and Kelsey, and by all those that knew and cherished him. A celebration of his life for household and buddies will probably be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the household asks that you simply make donations in Larry’s title to both all or one of many following: the School of the Albemarle, the Nature Conservancy Nags Head Woods Protect, and the Surfrider Basis Outer Banks Chapter.Goodbye Our Pal.Twiford Funeral Houses, Outer Banks is aiding the household with preparations. Condolences and reminiscences may be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.