Celestine Gray Tinson, 85, elementary schoolteacher

December 06, 2005

Celestine Gray Tinson, a retired educator who was active in church affairs, died of cancer Friday at her son's home in Scottsdale, Ariz. The former Baltimore resident was 85.

She was born and raised Celestine Cortez Daniels in Halifax County, N.C. She was a graduate of Eastman High School in Enfield, N.C., and earned a bachelor's degree in education from what is now Elizabeth City State University.

She moved to Washington in the early 1950s and taught elementary school pupils for several years. She continued to do so after moving to Baltimore.

Before moving to Rocky Mount, N.C., in 1975, Mrs. Tinson had lived on Federal Street and Decker Avenue.

Mrs. Tinson converted to Catholicism in 1954 and became an active member of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in East Baltimore, where she was a member of the Sodality and the Legion of Mary, for which she had served as president, vice president and treasurer.

She also was a Eucharistic minister and lector and worked in the church's health care ministry.

Family members said she was fond of saying, "I need to help the sick, the lonely, and the forgotten ones."

Mrs. Tinson enjoyed cooking, travel and attending family reunions.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Rocky Mount.

She was married in 1941 to Joseph Wellington Gray, a chauffeur, who died in 1958. Her second husband of 30 years, Lawrence Randolph Tinson Sr., a postal worker, died in 1992.

Surviving are a son, Maceo Gray of Scottsdale; two daughters, Annette Chester and Roslyn Emery-Gardener, both of Rocky Mount; a stepson, Lawrence R. Tinson Jr. of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Arletta Garnette of Baltimore and Phyliss Wigfall of Houston; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Gloria Gray Delaney died in 1995.

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