John Richard Grayson was born August 23, 1938 in Mishawaka, Ind. He was preceded in death by his loving parents, John and Ann Grayson and the love of his life, Ella Leigh Grayson.Richard graduated from West End High School in 1956. He married his wife of forty years in 1961. Richard and Ella met in world famous Printer’s Alley in Nashville. Richard sometimes played piano where Ella served drinks. Initially, they had a disagreement over his bar tab. He had an arrangement with the club owner to drink for free in exchange for playing the piano. She ended up agreeing to go on a date, which turned into a lifelong love story. Richard and Ella made their home in Donelson. They raised their two daughters, Lori and Gena there before moving to Mt Juliet in 1990.
The couple loved traveling. They visited the islands of the Caribbean extensively and enjoyed many vacations during their marriage. Richard worked as a dispatcher for Yellow Freight in Donelson from 1965-1983. In 1988, Richard left the transport industry to join Ella at the Tanning Place on Murfreesboro Rd. They worked together until they sold their business and retired in 1998. After the loss of his wife in 2001, Richard took a part time job at Mannheim Auto Auction in Lebanon. He genuinely enjoyed his time at Mannheim, working right up until the tornado and pandemic in March of 2020. Richard always loved cars, especially fast cars. He was avid fan of NASCAR. His 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air won hundreds of trophies and awards at car shows he regularly attended. He also loved being outside. He was known by his lifelong neighbors in both Donelson and Mt. Juliet for always working in his yard, keeping everything meticulous. He maintained his wife’s many plants and flowerbeds after she passed away. Richard never remarried, he honored and kept his wife’s memory alive until the time of his own death. He loved his family. He was a very active and involved father, grandpa/papaw/poppy in the lives of his children and grandchildren. He passed peacefully at his home on April 14.
He is survived by: daughters, Lori Grayson Peek (Tony) and Gena Grayson; grandchildren, Alston Peek (Haley), Grayson Peek (Anna), Derek DePriest and Ella Boleware; sister, Karen Grayson Tritley.
Bond Memorial Chapel fulfilled his wish to be cremated. He will be honored at a later time during a private beachside Celebration of Life with immediate family.
Arrangements by Bond Memorial Chapel, N. Mt. Juliet Road and Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN. (615) 773-2663. www.bondmemorial.com.