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William Grady Marley, Jr., (84), a resident of Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh, North Carolina, passed quietly from this life to life eternal on January 4, 2023, embraced by the care and love of his family. Bill, also known by family and friends as W.G., was the first son of generous and loving parents, William Grady Marley, Sr., and Laura Rebecca Currie Marley. Born in Lumber Bridge, Robeson County, North Carolina, Bill grew up in a thriving agricultural community where his father owned and operated farmland, a country general store, cotton gin, and fertilizer business. These childhood experiences led to the development of his strong work ethic and a deep appreciation for the farmland that sustained his family for generations. Bill’s work ethic, as well as love for his family and abiding spiritual faith, guided him throughout life.
Bill graduated from Red Springs High School in 1957 where he was elected Class President by his classmates all four years, lettered in football and basketball, and received the VWF Citizenship Award as a graduating senior. He married his high school sweetheart, Frances Amelia Gibson of Red Springs, with whom he shared a sacred bond of love and friendship for 57 years.
Bill entered Red Springs Lodge No. 501 and was raised to the Degree of Master Mason at the age of 21. After graduating from NC State in 1962 with a degree in Civil Engineering, Bill worked for NCDOT, rising to the position of State Highway Administrator. He retired in 1994 and continued his life’s work in transportation engineering with Parsons Corp. for the next ten years as Vice President and Area Manager. Bill was highly regarded in the engineering profession for his technical competence and abilities as a trusted leader with a compassionate heart and tough mind. He was a skilled communicator who was able to assemble and motivate teams and establish a clear vision for the organizations he led.
After his second retirement, Bill channeled his leadership skills and organizational experience broadly in service to his community and the engineering profession. He was active on Springmoor Residents Association committees, served on the Springmoor Endowment Fund, and was elected to the Springmoor Incorporated Board of Directors in 2022.
Bill and his wife, Frances, spent much of their time together with family and friends at their beloved cottage, “Land’s End,” built in 1972 by the sea at Holden Beach, and log cabin, “Dunvegan,” in the smoky mountains of Swain County. Bill used his photography skills to chronicle the cherished memories at the beach with their sons, grandchildren, extended family, and friends.
Bill held among his most treasured memories the years spent with his boys in the Raleigh YMCA Indian Guides Program. In 1976, he served as Chief of the Raleigh YMCA Indian Guide Nation and remained a strong supporter of this beloved youth program that honors the bond between fathers and sons. Remaining strong, this program flourishes today with those boys now sharing happy times with their sons and daughters.
Bill was a member of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church. He is survived by son, William Grady Marley III and wife Amy King Marley of Raleigh, and son, Greer Stephens Marley and wife Rebecca Dawn Marley of Fuquay-Varina; grandchildren Savannah Stephens Marley, Jackson Greer Marley, Mary Carleton Marley, and Catherine Caldwell Marley; his sister Ann Marley Wright and husband Robert Wright of Sun City, Arizona, and sister-in-law Beverly Nickens Marley of Winston-Salem; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins. Bill was predeceased by his wife Frances Gibson Marley, sister Nancy Marley Currie and husband Edward Currie of Red Springs, and brother Morris Duncan Marley of Winston Salem.
A memorial service will be held for Bill at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh on Sunday, January 15, at 2:00 pm. Visitation with the family will follow at the church.
Bill will be laid to rest beside his beloved Frances at the Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lumber Bridge, North Carolina at a graveside service to be held on Saturday, January 14, at 2:00 pm.
To honor his wife, Frances, who was the choral director at Millbrook High School for 34 years and filled his life with music, memorial donations may be made to the Frances G. Marley Scholarship Fund. Please make checks payable to MHS Choral Boosters and send to Millbrook High School, 2201 Spring Forest Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27615.