Virginia “Ginny” (Bell) Gray, of Hingham, age 85, passed away on January 5, 2018.
Born April 25, 1932 to Adelaide M. Brown and Lewis S. Bell. Loving wife to the late William A. Gray III. She is survived by her daughters Martha Music of Allyn, WA, Margaret Curtis and Ellen Gray of Hingham, MA. Grandmother “Gamma” to Emily Curtis Pott, Thomas Curtis, Allison Cedeno, Brad Davis, Robert Dresser III and William Dresser. Great-Gamma to Madeleine & Dax.
Ginny grew up between Boston and Cohasset before settling in Hingham where she contributed mightily during her long life. In 1971, along with her husband and other fellow Hingham residents, she founded the Lincoln Sailing Center (now Hingham Maritime Center) where she served for 31 years as Executive Director with the mission to make sailing lessons affordable and accessible to all. She was honored for her efforts when she was recognized by President Reagan with the People-to-People Sports Committee Recognition Award in appreciation of outstanding contributions to international friendship, goodwill and understanding through sports. Her sailing accolades were not limited to Hingham, she was the first woman Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Yacht Racing Union of Massachusetts Bay (now Mass Bay Sailing) which honored her with the Distinguished Service to Yachting Award in 1976. She served as a US Sailing Judge to the America’s Cup in 1979 & 1983, amongst many other international, collegiate and local sailing events. She was a former Squadron Commander of the US Power Squadron of Bare Cove, a member to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, a former member of the Cohasset Yacht Club and an active member of the Hingham Yacht Club.
Her service did not end at the waters edge as she was President of the first Hingham Citizens Police Academy, member of the Hingham Citizens Fire Academy and a leading member of the Citizens Emergency Response Team for the Town of Hingham. A member and former President of the Hingham-Hull Rotary Club where she was the two-time recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award. A life member of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, former President and honorary lifetime member of the Hingham Garden Club, member of Hingham’s 4th of July Parade Committee, lifetime member of the Bare Cove Fire Museum, member of the Hingham Historical Society and the Thorton Burgess Society. She served as the Registrar of Voters to the town of Hingham where she was a familiar face checking-in residents for Town Meeting and town elections. She also served on the Hingham Conservation Commission and Open Space Committee to the Weymouth Back River. She was honored as Grand Marshall of the Hingham 4th of July Parade in 1996, Kiwanis Club of Hingham-Weymouth Citizen of the Year in 2005 and Hingham Citizen of the Year in 2012.
Visiting hours at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 172 Main Street, Hingham, Wednesday, January 10, 2018 from 3-7pm. A celebration of her life will be held at St. John’s of Hingham on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 1pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The Pat Roche Hospice Home, NVNA and Hospice, 86 Turkey Hill Lane, Hingham, MA 02043.