David Gray, 84

Thu, 09/13/2018 - 11:00pm

David Martin Gray, born in Sycamore, Illinois, on Oct. 21, 1933, died peacefully at his home on Block Island, R.I., Sept. 6, 2018. Surviving Dave are his wife, Ann (Bloor) Gray of Block Island, with whom he was married for 63 years; daughter and son-in-law, Judith Gray and Julius Craynock; daughter Sarah Gray; granddaughter Manih Gray Miller; son and daughter-in-law Andrew Gray and Yolanda Morales Gray; and their children Ian Gray and Isabelle Gray. Dave was the third of nine children of Rose and Ambrose Gray, both of whom are now deceased. Dave is predeceased by his sisters, Rose (Gray) Korleski and Dolores (Gray) Cook, his brother, John Gray, and his step-grandson, Cody Craynock. He is survived by siblings, Mary Anne (Gray) Pearson, Eleanor (Gray) Keefe, Elizabeth (Gray) Slapansky, Angela (Gray) Dieterlen, Patrick Gray, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Dave was a proud member of both the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Naval Reserve, before retiring from the Naval Reserve as Commander in 1981. He attended the University of Illinois on the G.I. bill, graduating in 1960 with a degree in Physics. Dave joined Combustion Engineering, Inc. in Windsor, Conn., in 1960 as a salesperson and progressed through the company until his retirement in 1995, at which time he was President of ABB Power Plant Services (ABB acquired Combustion Engineering in 1989).

He was formerly President of the Nauset Light Preservation Society and a member of the Advisory Council of the Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, among other community organizations. His favorite volunteer activity was assisting the National Museum of the U.S. Navy by setting up rare documents for the museum’s website.

Dave and his family lived in Windsor, Conn., for many years before he and Ann retired to Cape Cod, and then finally to Block Island. He will be remembered for his hard work, his keen interest and attention to pretty much everyone he met, his ready and willing smile, his love of all things World War II, and his deep and abiding love for the sea. An old salt, he had many boats and was happiest on the water — especially when he could get his beloved Ann to join him.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at noon on Saturday, Sept. 29 at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Block Island, with interment immediately following at Block Island Cemetery. A celebration of his life will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nauset Light Preservation Society (www.nausetlight.org; Eastham, Mass.) or the Mary D. Fund, P.O. Box 323, Block Island, RI, 02808.