Marie Gray, an old friend of the fire company, passed away peacefully on August 24, 2018, in Leesburg, Virginia. She was owner and proprietor of Marie’s Snack Shop located on the lower floor of the Jackson Professional Building; 209 Gibson Drive, across from where the old Cornwall Emergency Room used to be. This building was also the location for “Fire Control” which was the dispatch center, and the Fire Marshal’s office. The fire marshals, dispatchers and many others involved in the daily operation of Loudoun County Fire Rescue frequented her shop. Past Assistant Fire Marshall J.B. Anderson remembers that he and the head of Loudoun County Fire Rescue, Fire Marshall O.R. Dube’, would eat breakfast almost every morning at Marie’s. She had such a loyal group of regulars’ that O.R. Dube’ had a key to the place. On mornings when Dube’ and the fire marshals got there before her, they would let themselves in, start the coffee and begin cooking breakfast. One day they did that but she did not come to work; she stayed home sick. J.B. said that they left the shop open and he and some of her regulars took turns working all day running the snack shop.
Marie’s husband, William “Billy” Gray, was elected to the Leesburg Volunteer Fire Company on February 29, 1956. In 1957 he was a driver and served as such until 1961 when he was elected Lieutenant 1. In 1962 he was elected Captain 2, and served two terms. In 1964 he went back to being an apparatus driver and was elected delegate to the Loudoun County Firemen’s Association. Going through the meeting minutes several things about Billy stand out. He missed several meetings every year, probably due to his job as a truck driver. He was engaged in all aspects of the operation and at every meeting he attended, you could count on him to either make or second, the routine yet necessary motion to “pay the bills”. William “Billy” Gray was at work as a truck driver when he was killed in a traffic accident in May 1968.
Billy was a dedicated member of our Fire Company and Marie was a true friend to all who served in Loudoun County Fire Rescue. Rest in Peace