William Gray Obituary

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In Memory of

William R. Gray

January 7, 1931 - November 19, 2013
Obituary

GRAY, WILLIAM RAY "BILL" Jan. 7, 1931-Nov. 19, 2013, age 82 of Birmingham, passed away Tuesday, November 19 surrounded by his loving family and friends. A lifelong resident of Birmingham, he was born on January 7, 1931 to Arthur Freeman and Dennie Francis Wood Gray. Driven by a strong devotion and love for his country, Bill joined the Alabama Air National Guard in 1947 at the age of 16. He graduated from Tarrant High School in 1950 and served state side during the Korean conflict in 1951. In September 1959, Bill became a full time Air Technician. He bravely served his country during the Bay of Pigs Invasion and The Berlin Crisis on...
GRAY, WILLIAM RAY "BILL" Jan. 7, 1931-Nov. 19, 2013, age 82 of Birmingham, passed away Tuesday, November 19 surrounded by his loving family and friends. A lifelong resident of Birmingham, he was born on January 7, 1931 to Arthur Freeman and Dennie Francis Wood Gray. Driven by a strong devotion and love for his country, Bill joined the Alabama Air National Guard in 1947 at the age of 16. He graduated from Tarrant High School in 1950 and served state side during the Korean conflict in 1951. In September 1959, Bill became a full time Air Technician. He bravely served his country during the Bay of Pigs Invasion and The Berlin Crisis on 1961. In 1968, Bill was awarded the Most Distinguished Airman of the Year and was promoted to Chief Master Sargent in 1969. He obtained an Associated Degree in Fire Science from Jefferson State in 1972. In September 1984, Bill retired after 38 years of service and began a career at Pemco (Hayes Aircraft Corp) as a Lieutenant and retired as Captain in 1994. Following retirement he remained active in several organizations including Retired Air Technincian "R.A.T.S.", Redbirds 117th, Retired Airforce Fire Chiefs, and The American Legion Eastlake Post 171. Bill always welcomed everyone with his warm smile and caring, generous spirit. He loved his family and traveling with his wife. Bill enjoyed spending time with his daughters and his true pride and joy, his grandchildren, to whom he was known as "PaPa". He treasured the strong bonds of family and friendships, loved his country, and enjoyed Alabama Football, Nascar races and boating on Logan Martin Lake. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Freeman and Dennie Francis Wood Gray; sisters, Nethlia Helen Gray and Jennie J. Griffin; brothers, Arthur Franklin Gray and Roy Lee "Buster" Gray; nephew, Phillip Roy Gray; and son-in-law, Adam A. Schepker. Bill is survived by his wife of 48 years, Carla Ann Kirkpatrick Gray; daughters, Suzanne Schepker and Nancy West (Jay); grandchildren, Summer Schepker, Brooke Schepker, Ava West, Gray West and Dylan West all of Birmingham; sisters, Ada Ruth Nichols of Tallahassee, FL and Mava Skelton of Wichita Falls, TX; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of life long friends. His family will receive friends on Friday, November 22, 2013 from 12-2 PM at Ridout's Trussville Chapel. His service will begin in the chapel at 2 with his nephew Bishop Mike Gray officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Military Funeral and Honorary Pallbearers are the former and present members of the 117th ARW Fire Department. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Wounded Warrior Project.

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Birmingham News
William Ray "Bill" Gray Jan. 7, 1931-Nov. 19, 2013 , age 82 of Birmingham, passed away Tuesday, November 19 surrounded by his loving family and...

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