William "Bill" Gray

Navy Badge
  • Name: William "Bill" Gray
  • Location of Birth: Hibbing, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: June 30, 1925
  • Date of Death: April 22, 1997 (71 years old)
  • Parents: Max and Peg Gray
  • High School and Class: 1943 - Hibbing High School, Hibbing, Minnesota
  • College: University of Minnesota
    St. Mary's College - Winona, Minnesota
    Bemidji State University - Bemidji, Minnesota - Master's Degree in Education
  • Highest Rank: ENS (Ensign)
  • Branch: Navy
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  • Military Highlights:
    Bill served in the United States Navy from 1943-1947 and was discharged with the rank of Ensign.

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  • Civilian Life:
    While at the University of Minnesota, Bill set records in swimming competitions. His love of horses led him to work on ranches in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. He later owned a ranch and saddle shop in Sheridan, Wyoming and competed in rodeos and played polo.

    Bill started teaching fourth grade at Riverview Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 1960. He was a principal for School District #318 until he retired in 1991 from Southwest Elementary School in Grand Rapids. He became a part-time principal at Marble Elementary School in Marble, Minnesota in 1992, retiring in 1996.

    Bill was a member of the Grand Rapids Optimist Club, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Retired Educators Association and Community Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder.

    Bill is survived by his wife, Syd, whom he married in June, 1979; three daughters, Mindy Richards, Missy Gray, and Georgia Niles; a special family friend, Kelly Cahill; a brother, John; two sisters, Irene Vaught and Peg Kepler; and five grandchildren.

    Preceding him in death were his parents.

    Bill died at Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando, Florida. He is buried in Itasca Calvary Cemetery at Grand Rapids. (Plot I-E-18-1-3)

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