Memorial Service Planned For Longtime Onslow County Educator

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A woman who served the Onslow County School system in various capacities for almost 45 years, Dr. Kay Gresham, died Wednesday due to complications following surgery.

She was the Director for Early Childhood Initiatives and Federal Services in Onslow County and a native of Jacksonville. She is a graduate of Jacksonville High School.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church in Jacksonville this Sunday at 2 p.m. followed by visitation.

A press release from Onslow County Schools reads: "She was beloved and respected by everyone and was very dedicated to her students, which included preschoolers through seniors. Serving as Executive Director of Sponsors for Academic Talent, Inc., which raises tens of thousands of dollars each year, she wanted to see that as many students as possible received scholarships for academic excellence. She was dedicated to education and the community. She served as past chairwoman of the Board of Governors for the Governor’s School of North Carolina; she initiated the Interact Club at Jacksonville High School; served on the steering committee to establish the Onslow County Women’s Center, and she established a television studio for Onslow County Schools. She served on numerous boards and was a member of the Women’s Forum of NC.

An active Rotarian, she was past president of the Jacksonville Rotary Club and was preparing to assume the position of District Governor for the southeast region of Rotarians. She was president of the Jacksonville Junior Women’s Club and the Upsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Elected as Onslow County Woman of the Year in 1998, she also received the award as one of Onslow County’s Top Ten Women of the Decade."

The press release continues: "Dr. Lesley Eason, Associate Superintendent for Instructional Services and Continuous Improvement said, 'Dr. Kay Gresham — Dr. Kay as her Thompson students affectionately called her — loved and served the Onslow County School System in a rare and special way. Kay was the type of educator, human being and civic servant we should all aspire to be. One of her most special qualities as a district leader was her innate ability to honor the whole child; from the time he/she enters school in pre-kindergarten until he/she graduates.'”

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to SAT Sponsors for Academic Talent, Inc., P.O. Box 233, Jacksonville, NC 28541.