Services for William Elijah “Bill” Gray, 67, Ada, are at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, at Reaper Baptist Church in Ada, with the Rev. R.G. McGee officiating. Burial follows at Rosedale Cemetery. Family and friends may call at Criswell Funeral Home from 6-8 p.m. Monday.
Mr. Gray died Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, in Oklahoma City. He was born June 12, 1946, in Ada to Edgar and Naomi Triplett Gray.
Mr. Gray received his early childhood education at Napier School and graduated from Byng High School in 1964. Following graduation, he served with the U.S. Marines. He retired from the National Guard with the rank of master sergeant in 2003.
He married Barbara Ann Watson on Oct. 24, 1969. She died Sept. 9, 2001.
As a child, Mr. Gray was a member of Ada Church of God in Christ. Later as an adult, he became a member of Reaper Baptist Church, where he served as an associate minister under the guidance of the Rev. Freddie Clark. Mr. Gray and his wife, Barbara, worked together with the youth department and the music department.
Mr. Gray joined Ada Fire Department as a firefighter on Dec. 1, 1969, and was appointed fire chief May 29, 1979. He served the city of Ada in this capacity until he retired Nov. 30, 1990. After his retirement from the Ada Fire Department, Bill ran for a seat on the Ada City Council and also served as mayor. Bill was an entrepreneur over the years, including a restaurant, a second-hand store, wrecker service and Bargain World Television Home Shopping Franchise in Ada and Altus. He was a carpenter and plumber after retiring from public office, and was employed by several assisted living centers in the Oklahoma City area and at a private prison in Holdenville.
He married Laurie Rooney Brandt on Oct. 4, 2002, in Lawton. They lived for several years in Lawton before moving to Edmond.