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.
Survivors include his wife, Laurie Gray, of the home; four sons, Aron Gray and wife, Krista, Ada, LaDon Carrington of Tecumseh, William “Keebie” Gray and wife, Christy, of Sulphur, and Michael Brandt and wife, Jaime, of Oklahoma City; a daughter, Margie Lynn Gray of Oklahoma City; four brothers, Elder Edgar Gray Jr. and wife, Gladene, of Seattle, Elder Tollie Gray and wife, Maretha, of Oklahoma City, Harvey Gray and wife, Ruthie, of Ada, and Henry Gray of Vernon, Texas; two sisters, Eva Gordon, San Francisco, and Martha Collins of Hayward, Calif.; brothers-in-law, Pat Rooney and John Rooney and wife, Sandra, of Lawton; his grandchildren, Zachary Gray, Dembri Weeks, McKenah Jones, Bryce Carrington, Ethan Carrington, Mariah Nicole Gray, Asar Elijah Anderson, Yeshua Michea Anderson, Jayden Gray, Christian Gray, Noah Gray, Jamison Carrington, Aris Brandt and William Makhi Gray; and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 32 years, Barbara Watson Gray; his grandparents; sisters, Clemmie Gray Williams and Ruth Gray Lewis; and a granddaughter, Braxtin Ann Gray.
Bearers will be Aron Gray, Zachary Gray, Rodney K. Lewis, LaDon Carrington, Michael Brandt Shawn Collins, William Michael Gray, Christian Gray and Sanford Collins. Honorary bearers will be Elder Edgar Gray Jr., Elder Tollie Gray, Pat Rooney, Harvey S. Gray, Henry I. Gray, John Rooney and Kirk Blue. Flower bearers will be Christy Hilliard, Krista Weeks, Jaime Brandt, Freda Clark, Sharon Blue, nieces and cousins and Reaper Baptist Church Family. Honorary flower bearers will be Margie Lynn Gray, Jayden Gray, Mariah Gray, Aris Brandt, McKenah Jones and Dembri Weeks.
Obituaries may be viewed and online condolences sent to criswellfh.com.
Criswell Funeral Home, Ada