Lucy Gray is a member of the Bethel A.M.E. Church and sang in the choir for over 30 years. She was active in the Willing Workers Club; the Louanna Riley Missionary Society and served as a trustee. She was the first African American hired to work in retail in downtown Champaign in 1952 at the Kaufinan's Clothing Store where she worked for 10 years. She then worked 18 years for the Joseph Kuhn Clothing store. She also worked as Assistant Manager and Buyer for La Boutique in downtown Champaign and she owned and operated Gray's Antiques and Collectibles. Lucy served as Alternate Delegate to the Champaign County League of Women Voters' State Convention which was held on the U of I Campus. As a member of CCDC, she was instrumental in creating the first mini-park in Champaign-Urbana located on Park Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets, the Marco-Nelson Park. Jack Marco and Earnest Nelson donated the land, CCDC provided the money.
She was a charter member of the National Council of Negro Women, Champaign County section.
The following information comes from The Black Women in the Middle West Project: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Illinois and Indiana: Historical Essays, Oral Histories, Biographical Profiles and Document Collections
Lucy J. Gray, nee Blake, was born in Paris, Illinois. Gray is one of six children of Bertha Blake, nee Manval, a homemaker born at Kansas, Illinois in 1886 (died 1956), and Frank Blake, an odd job laborer born at Paris, Illinois in 1884 (died 1954). She was married to Louis M. Gray, a Post Office custodian born at Champaign on August 10, 1906 (died October 1957). Their son was born in 1940. She moved from Paris to Champaign in 1932. She received a Certificate in Law and Real Estate from the Illinois Commercial College. She worked as a salesperson from 1947 to 1983 and was the owner of an antique store in downtown Champaign. She has also been a self-employed practical nurse, beginning in 1980. She belonged to the Negro Baptist Church in Paris from 1916 to 1931 and to Bethel AME Church in Champaign since then, where her service has included the trustees. Her affiliations have included the Champaign County Development Corporation, Community Development Board, and the Cunningham Children's Home.