He was born Jan. 20, 1920, to L.E. and Josie (McGuire) Gray on a farm east of Altamont. He attended schools in Labette County, graduating from Labette County Community High School in 1938, and attended Parsons Junior College for two years.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September 1941 and served all over the world during the war on naval and merchant marine ships. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in September 1945. During the Korean conflict, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 1950 and served his country in Korea with the 930th Ordinance group from Parsons. He was discharged in March 1952.
He married Teresa Florence Sailsbury in Los Angeles in 1944. After his discharge from his military service, he lived in Parsons, Jackson, Miss., and Wichita. She preceded him in death on Nov. 15, 1963, in Wichita. Following her death, he moved from Wichita to West Memphis, Ark., for a short period of time.
On June 28, 1966, he married Mildred Newbanks in Pueblo, Colo., and returned to Southeast Kansas. She preceded him in death on Sept. 15, 1996.
After returning to Southeast Kansas, he worked at Ray Products in Parsons, for many years, retiring from there in the early 1980s.
He was an avid sportsman. He enjoyed fishing and hunting with bow and arrow and gun. He participated in many bowling leagues since the 1960s, bowling in several national tournaments. At the age of 88, he especially enjoyed bowling in the Senior Citizens Bowling League earlier this year in Parsons. He was the recipient of many bowling trophies, which he proudly displayed in his home. He was instrumental in organizing the Horse Shoe Pitching League in Altamont, and helped build the horse shoe pits in the Altamont city park. He participated in many Southeast Kansas horse shoe pitching tournaments and received many awards.
Earlier this year, he was granted the honor as a Four States Hero for his service to his country by KOAM TV.
He was a member of the Altamont United Methodist Church, the NRA, AARP, the Senior Citizens Bowling League of Parsons and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Survivors include a son, Larry Gray, and his wife, Virginia, of Altamont; a grandson, Jason Gray, and his wife, Kimberly, of Carthage, Mo.; two great-grandchildren, Mazi Grace Gray and Indiana Thomas Gray, both of Carthage, Mo.; three stepchildren, Lloyd Leon Newbanks of Mont Claire, Va., Anita Pilkington of Mound Valley and Gloria Wood of Muskogee, Okla.; seven stepgrandchildren; and seven stepgreat-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Georgia Medaris, and a stepgrandson.
There will be a service at 10 a.m. at Bath-Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Altamont. Burial will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home after noon on Wednesday.
Memorials are suggested to Altamont United Methodist Church and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 325, Altamont, 67330.