A celebration of life for A. Lee Gray, 92 of Hamlet, will be held on Sunday at 2:00 PM at Speer Funeral Home, Aledo. Visitation will be one hour prior to services and fellowship will immediately follow the services at the funeral home. Per Lee’s wishes, his remains were donated to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for medical education. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mercer Carnegie Library or the Mercer County Historical Society, honoring Lee’s love for books and his family ties to the early settlers of Mercer County.
Alan Lee Gray died on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at the family home in Hamlet, where he was also born on July 29, 1923 to Landon & Fannie (Lee) Gray. He lived his entire life in the Hamlet area, except for a few years in his youth when the family moved to Idaho to raise potatoes with his uncle. In the fall of 1941 Lee attended the University of Illinois, where he became a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He then enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He served as an aircraft mechanic, fostering his love of anything mechanical. After military service Lee came home to farm. During a local Rural Youth dance he met Betty Streets of Seaton. They married on June 24, 1951 at Center Presbyterian Church, Seaton. She preceded him in death on September 22, 1996.
Lee was an active member of his community, serving on the boards of many organizations, including the Reynolds Telephone Company, of which he was also secretary, Hamlet Mutual Insurance Company, the 708 Mental Health Board, Hamlet Jr. Farmers 4-H leader for 40 years, ASC Board; 10 gallon blood donor for the American Red Cross and a lifetime member of the Hamlet-Perryton Presbyterian Church. Lee was intellectually curious and a voracious reader. He enjoyed welding and constructed not only farm equipment, but also playground equipment for his family among other things.
Lee is survived by his 5 children and spouses: Douglas & Tammy Gray of Herscher, IL; Diana Lee Gray of St. Louis, MO; Sarah Thomas of Aledo; Elizabeth MacDonald-Gray & Ric MacDonald of Hamlet; Gwendolyn Gray & Mike Muchow of Columbia, MO; 12 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers & 3 sisters-in-law: Richard & Mary Gray of Longmont, CO; Henry & Lois Gray of Reynolds and Nancy McKelvey of Morro Bay, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, brother Dr. Robert Gray, daughter-in-law Betty Dickman Gray, son-in-law David Thomas, and a special friend, Aletha Abbott. The family wishes to thank Lorrie Minear for her tender care and attention to Lee in the past 2 years.