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John R. Gresham

December 26, 1940 ~ September 10, 2023


John Randolph “Randy” Gresham, 82 years old, went to be with his Lord on Sunday, September 10, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. 

Randy was born on December 26, 1940, in Raleigh, North Carolina.  He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Campbell University and a master' in education from East Carolina University. Randy met his wife, Gayle, while they were teaching at the same school. Randy became a school principal at age 27 and shepherded students and faculty of Cumberland Mills and Rockfish elementary schools.

Randy's love of learning was a lifelong affair, and his dedication to reading every available placard and piece of information at museums and historical monuments rivaled even the most studious scholars. 

Randy was endlessly creative, with a particular passion for ink drawings and carpentry.  Randy spent much of his spare time improving his home.  Over the more than half-century he shared it with his wife, Gayle, he expanded the living room and constructed a deck and a workshop in the backyard.  With his tools and his workshop, Randy would endeavor upon many projects for his family. 

Randy worshiped at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville. Over the years, he served churches as a deacon, sound tech, and youth guide. Every year at Christmastime, Randy enjoyed donning an outfit of red and a Santa hat to complement his white beard and bringing candy canes and smiles to the children of the congregation. Throughout Randy's life, he made sure to always let those around him know they were loved.

Randy is survived by his wife of 58 years, Gayle;  sister, Jerri Jordan, and brother, Joe (Jennifer) Gresham; children, Suzanne (Michael) Cox, Cindy Gresham, and Craig (Teresa) Gresham; grandchildren, Nathan (Emily) Cox, Ryan Cox, Faison Molloy, Fisher Molloy, Zoe Gresham, and Paavo Gresham; foster grandchildren, Kressy (Patrick) Waugh, Jennifer (Fergus) Taylor, and Brian (Kate) Kelly; five foster great-grandchildren; and his cat Angel. Preceding him in death were his father, John Faison Gresham; his mother, Natoma Lane Gresham Bullman Owen; and a foster son, Jimmy Kelly.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at First Baptist Church, 201 Anderson St, Fayetteville, NC. The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the church prior to the service. Burial will follow at Cumberland Memorial Gardens, Fayetteville, NC. 

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 201 Anderson St., Fayetteville, NC 28301.

Online condolences may be left at http://www.jerniganwarren.com

Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, NC 28301

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