Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 12, 2014

Pfc. Josh Gray remembered as brilliant JCHS student

Soldier lost his life Monday at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan

PAINTSVILLE — Teachers and staff at Johnson Central High School remember Josh Gray as a brilliant student who scored a 34 on the ACT and had an outstanding life ahead of him.

Pfc. Joshua Gray, a 2011 graduate of JCHS, died Monday at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. His death is described as the result of a non-combat related incident under investigation. The 21-year-old was deployed in January and served as a satellite communications system operator maintainer.

“Josh was a very high-end student. He was an amazing kid,” said John Robinson, who was Gray’s information technology instructor and SkillsUSA adviser.

“He was very super smart. He was always looking something up. He always had this thirst for knowledge — computers, math, science and technology. He was always more than willing to do work. He often came to me with questions ... or answers,” Robinson said, recalling Gray’s fascination with the game “Minecraft” and his desire to learn the computer language needed to modify the game.

Gray’s fascination with computers resulted in the student finding a massive old IBM server he brought to school, Robinson recalled, adding the unit was so large and heavy it should have required two people to move it.

“He was carrying it around like it was nothing,” he said with a chuckle. “He left it here. I still have it.”

 In addition to his role on the academic team and SkillsUSA team, Gray was also voted prom king, and Most Unforgettable by his senior class. He was also known for his stuffed penguin, Mr. Waddles, a constant companion.

“He took Mr. Waddles everywhere with him,” said Tim Adams, district director of operations for Johnson County schools. “It started out as a joke, but then it just caught on. Mr. Waddles became part of the class.”

Adams said he knew Gray as a member of the high school’s academic team, and held him in highest esteem.

“Josh was an exceptionally bright young man. He just had that air about him that he attracted people to him,” he said, later adding he was not surprised to find out Gray had signed up for military service.

“He was a very giving young man,” he said, remembering Gray sometimes skipped academic team practice so he could volunteer to tutor a member of the school’s basketball team.

Angie Carriere taught Gray to play music while he was a young boy living in Floyd County.

“Josh was a student of mine when I taught music at Mountain Christian Academy in Martin. He was a bright and gifted student. He was in my violin/fiddle class. He never wanted to learn to read music, instead he insisted on playing his music ‘by ear.’ Actually, he never really needed the music, he could just listen to the song and play it,” she said.

“Gray will be remembered as a kind and loving friend and classmate by those who knew him and as a patriot and one who loved and served his country by those who may not have known him,” Carriere said. “Our prayers are with him, his family and his classmates.”

Teacher Amiee Cantrell-Webb said, “Josh was just a brilliant, well-loved guy. So sad.”

Funeral arrangements for Gray are incomplete.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Gray was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Pfc. Joshua A. Gray, 21, of Van Lear, Ky., died Feb. 10, in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident currently under investigation. He was assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.”

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Golden Corral sends children to camp

    Ashland’s Golden Corral teamed with other restaurants across nation this year to raise $1.5 million to send a total of 3,000 children to Camp Corral.
     

    July 24, 2014

  • Burglars steal golf gear

    A couple of golf enthusiasts might not make their tee times Saturday because burglars stole golf equipment from their garages.

    July 24, 2014

  • Music instructor claims age discrimination

    The Russell Independent School District is denying allegations of a former band director who claims in a lawsuit the district discriminated against him because of his age.
     

    July 24, 2014

  • Financial blunder leads to heated board discussion

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.
    Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles and City Attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin confirmed a new ordinance will be drafted so the department heads of finance and legal counsel will be checked by the board, in addition to Bitter’s current oversight.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stricter enforcement, diagonal spots endorsed to help downtown

    A group of business owners operating along Winchester Avenue — Ashland’s main thoroughfare — asked the Ashland Board of Commissioners to replace current parallel parking spots with diagonal ones, and also for more strick enforcement of a two-hour parking law.

    July 24, 2014

  • National act takes stage at Boyd County Fair

    The Building of Dreams erupted into screams Thursday night at the 2014 Boyd County Fair, as country music fans saw Bucky Covington take the stage.
    According to Ellen Keaton, fair board president, Covington was a favorite on season five of Fox’s talent competition series American Idol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Smoke-free advocates bound for Ashland

    Advocates for smoke-free public spaces are touring the state, starting in Ashland, to drum up support for anti-tobacco legislation they hope to pass next year.
    Smoke-Free Kentucky is a coalition of organizations and people who support a ban on smoking in all public and work places in Kentucky.

    July 24, 2014

  • Ohio State Band Direc_Mayn.jpg Ohio State marching band chief fired after probe

    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday after determining he ignored a "sexualized" culture of rituals including students being pressured to march in their underwear and participate in sexually themed stunts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grimes has pep rally before energetic Democrats

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was preaching to the Democratic choir Thursday night at the Wendell Ford Dinner attended by about 700 here.

    July 24, 2014

  • Commissioners challenge city manager’s authority

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone