Robert Banks Gray, 93, of North Huntingdon, passed away Tuesday, May 16, 2017 in the presence of loving family,
and with the compassionate care of Hempfield Manor staff, Amedisys Hospice staff and his personal caregiver and dear friend, Jenn. He was born May 7, 1924 in Export, to Harry L. Gray and Anna Creery Gray. Robert was pre-deceased by his first wife, Dolores Elias Gray in 1976, and also by his brothers, Warren, James, Charles and Paul; and his sisters, Eleanor, Elizabeth and Marilyn. His marriage to Marcia Clay ended in divorce. He is survived by his children Connie Gongaware (Ken) of VA; Patricia Kemble (Lou) of MD; and Richard Gray (Maura); his grandchildren, Stephen Gray Gongaware (Tegan), Lori Ann Kemble, Austin Gray, Ryan Connelly (Kelly); his great-granddaughter, Melody Grace Gongaware; and many nieces and nephews. After high school in Export and working for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, Robert joined the Army Air Corps, trained at Texas Tech, and deployed to the Pacific Theatre air war as part of the 417th Bomb Group, 673rd Bomb Squad, June 1943 - January 1946. Following World War II's victory over Japan, Robert returned to this area and was employed at the Elliott Company just prior to moving onto the new Fisher Body Division of General Motors in Dravosburg. He retired as the Press Room Superintendent with 31 years of service. Bob was a voracious reader, and enjoyed golf, bowling, especially with a couples league in Jeannette, and executive leagues at Fisher Body, traveling with family to Hawaii, the Caribbean islands and Europe, Germany, Holland, Belgium, England and Scotland, exploring his roots and speaking his best Scottish brogue. In recent years, Bob was honored to travel to the Air Force Academy in Colorado and to Washington DC with other members of the 417th Bomb Group, where their unit was recognized for their exceptional service. Bob was a member and past elder of First Presbyterian Church, Jeannette; 32nd Degree Mason F&A Masonic Lodge 750 in Jeannette; Syria Shrine and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Family and friends will be received at the James W. Shirley Funeral Home, 176 Clay Pike, North Huntingdon, PA on Friday from 2-8 p.m. Masonic services will be held on Friday at 7p.m. A funeral service will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the funeral home chapel with Reverend Diane Wiley officiating. Interment will follow in Penn Lincoln Memorial Park. www.shirleyfuneralhome.com.
Originally published May 17, 2017.