Bill ‘Papa’ Gray

Bill ‘Papa’ Gray

Bill “Papa” Gray, 91, of Keizer, went to be with Jesus, Feb. 6, 2020 peacefully in his home with family by his side. He was born Nov. 22, 1928 in Clarita, Okla. to John Walter Gray and Buela Gray. He left a wonderful, large family who remembers him for his work ethic, loyalty, and keen sense of humor.

Bill attended Gonzalez High School, and was married to his loving wife of 66 years, Bernice Gray, April 25, 1951 in Salinas, Calif. Bill and Bernice lived in Hawaii for two years, where Bill was a drill sergeant for the Korean War. After starting their family they settled in Richmond, Calif. He dedicated his life to his family and career. He went to night school and became a welder in the shipyards of San Francisco. After years in the shipyard, he purchased a Douglas Service Station, which he owned for 10 years. He then went back to his trade as a welder for Judson Steel. At the age of 62, he retired from welding and went on to become a real estate entrepreneur. Bill and Bernice moved to Oregon in 1993 to be close to their daughter and family.

He is survived by his faithful and devoted daughter, Geri Gray, and his son, Dwaine Gray. He also had five loving grandchildren; Alysia Bowman, Travis Sheffer, Shelli McKenzie, Lauren Sequeira and Matthew Gray; and seven great-grandchildren; Zach, Bryan, Jessica, Sabrina, Lexi, Lili, Liam, and another great grandson on the way.

His celebration of life will be held on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 3 p.m. at Lakepoint Community Church, 930 Chemawa Rd. NE, Keizer, OR 97303. There will be a buffet and reception to follow where guests are welcome to share their special memories of him. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.