On January 20, 2021, Donald Ray Gray, 75, of Clay, traded his Earthly tractor for a Heavenly crown.
As a young child, he developed a strong work ethic, and grew into a hard-working man. Throughout his life, he had many jobs. Don worked out-of-state at Ford Motor Company for a time, but he missed the WV hills and came home. He worked at MarSans mine and was a foreman at Beth Energy and Harwood Mines.
In 1977, Don was blessed to have met his future wife and keeper of his heart. Don and Judy married on May 31, 1979. He was welcomed with open arms by his in-laws, Page and Edith Kuntz, sisters-in-law Brenda and Sherrie, and brother-in-law Johnny.
Throughout their married life, Don and Judy cleared and farmed 86 acres of God’s Earth. He poured sweat and blood into something he was proud of, and a place he was blessed to call home. Being a farmer was Dons calling. It was rare to see Don without Judy, as they were inseparable. He was her protector and provider, and she was his strength. They were best friends, soulmates, and shared an unwavering one-of-a-kind love. If you ever caught him looking at her, you could not deny the sparkle in his eye, and the love, admiration, and respect he had for Judy.
Starting in 1993, and for the next 20 years, at the end of every July, you could find Don at the Clay County Ag Fair. As one of the founding members, he took great joy in watching the kids learn about their animals, and as always there to offer advice or a helping hand. One of the things he loved most was being able to share his knowledge of cows and farming with young people who were willing to learn. Whether he was working behind the scenes or front and center, Don always had a special place reserved in his heart for the Ag. Fair.
Don was a proud member of the Shriners and Clay Masonic Lodge. He attended Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, and loved to be there when he was able. He loved the Lord with all his heart, and assured all who loved him, where he would spend eternity.
Don was preceded in death by; his parents, Philip (Hans) and Alice Gray; an infant sister; brothers Charles, JB, and Woodrow Gray; In-laws Page and Edith Kuntz; and loyal canine companion Ruby Left on this Earth to cherish his memory, and celebrate his life are; his wife of 41 years Judy Gray; sons Donald Gray Jr of Charleston SC, Brian (Chris) Gray of Clay; daughters, Christina (Eric) Burdette of Procious, and Kimberly (Nick) Christian of Clay; grandchildren Jessie, Candy, Courtney, Abby, Philip, and Zach; four greatgrandchildren and many nieces and nephews; sister Carol Moore of Albian NY; brother Lowell Gray of Indore; chosen brother Roger Leggett of West Union WV and special friend Wayne Mangum of Bahama NC.
A special thank you to Hilltop Center for providing Don with comfort over the past year.
A graveside service was held Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 11 AM. Don was laid to rest at his favorite place; the “top of the hill” on his farm.