Linda duPlaine Gray, a shining light in the lives of many, passed away suddenly on July 17, 2023, in Long Beach, California. Born on a sunny September day in New Rochelle, New York, Linda's infectious laughter and compassionate spirit left an indelible mark on all who knew her.
Raised and educated in the close-knit community of Larchmont, New York, Linda's passion for both business and literature led her to the University of Arizona at Tucson. There, she excelled academically, graduating with a business degree and a minor in English. After completing her studies, Linda ventured to Irvine, California, where she began her journey in the wedding, events, and hospitality industry.
In 2002, Linda followed her heart and relocated to Long Beach, California, where she fulfilled her dream of founding her own company, A Wedding Store. As an event planner and coordinator, Linda's boundless creativity and keen eye for detail made her a trusted professional in the field. From intimate backyard weddings to lavish affairs at the aquarium, Linda always knew how to bring her clients' visions to life. Her unique ability to blend elegance with warmth and an abundance of fresh flowers left everyone in awe of her talent.
Linda's exceptional work did not go unnoticed. She received well-deserved recognition as one of the "Top Women in Business" by the Long Beach Business Journal for six consecutive years. Her dedication to her craft and strong leadership skills led her to serve on the Board of Directors for Executive Woman's International for seven years.
Her expertise and professionalism earned her the prestigious role of Event Coordinator for "The Knot Magazine" and its annual extravagant party held at Trump National Golf Club. Her work graced the pages of renowned publications, including Grace Ormand Wedding Style, Orange County Bride, Ceremony Magazine, and The Knot Magazine.
Beyond her professional achievements, Linda was a multifaceted individual with a deep love for the arts and sports. She cherished her time reading, attending theater performances, and watching movies. Whether it was cheering on her favorite athletes or enjoying the serenity of swimming, golf, tennis, or gymnastics, Linda embraced life with enthusiasm and grace.
Linda's love and warmth extended to her family, and she leaves behind cherished memories for her devoted sister, Pamela Robin Gray of San Pedro, California, and her beloved aunt, Lorraine Parks of Downey, California, along with numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her loving parents, Dr. John Gray, and Marilyn Gray, formerly of Larchmont, New York.
In memory of Linda, the family kindly requests that donations be made to the American Cancer Society, an organization close to her heart.
A memorial to celebrate Linda's beautiful life is planned for a later date in Long Beach, California. Her legacy of love, kindness, and creativity will forever remain in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing her. As the sun sets on her journey, may Linda Duplaine Gray's memory continue to shine brightly in our lives.