Gary Lynn Gray, 81, of Newcastle, WY, passed away peacefully after a very brief hospital stay at Weston County Health Services in Newcastle.
Gary was born on June 6, 1942, in Valentine, Nebraska to parents James and Mabel (Conn) Gray. He attended Valentine High School and graduated in 1961. Dad was a menace on the gridiron, tormenting football teams all over central Nebraska. He was such a terror that he was honored to play in the Nebraska Shrine Bowl in 1961, alongside the likes of Gayle Sayers that year, no less. Gary’s excellence in football took him to his beloved University of Nebraska, where they gave him a full-ride scholarship to continue terrorizing football teams all over the country. Alas, Gary’s love for the finer things in life led him to greener grasses after 2 1 ⁄ 2 years in Lincoln. One of those finer things in life was his bride to be, Gail Mullin. They met and fell in love and ultimately were married on June 25, 1966. Gary entered the Army in January of 1967 and served two years active duty. While enlisted, he received a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. Their first born son, Jeffery Gray, was born on May 19, 1968. After his time in the military, the family moved back to Valentine and were again blessed with another son, Christopher James Gray, on May 23, 1971.
Over the years, Gary owned and operated a small gas station, drove truck for Mr. Clark and US Welding, and eventually made the move to Newcastle, where he worked at the coal mine until he retired in 2004. Gary was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting, and tooling around the Black Hills, listening to his beloved Huskers in the fall… yes, even up thru 2022 (IYK,YK). He loved people so much and was still making annual trips to the Sturgis rally for several weeks, up until just a couple of years ago. The lake held a special place in his heart, and he satiated that love by spending countless summers camped at Keyhole reservoir, just enjoying being alive. Gary loved life and he cherished each day that he had, right up to his final one.
Gary is survived by his wife, Gail; sons, Jeffrey of Scottsbluff, NE and Christopher (Jaimie) of Newcastle; four grandchildren; Elyse (Devin) Dickey; Abby, Gavin and Sophie Gray; two great grandsons; Grayson and Hudson Dickey; and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Mabel; a sister, Jo Ann Sharpes; and two brothers; Delbert and Billy Gray.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 26th, at 11:00 am, at Meridian Mortuary in Newcastle, WY. A reception will be held immediately following the memorial at Weston County Senior Citizens Center. Inurnment will be held at Greenwood Cemetery, in Newcastle, at a later date.