The Daily Me

OBITUARIES

RALPH CHESTER GRAY
PLYMOUTH-Ralph C. Gray, 88, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on August 17, 2009, following a long illness. He was born April 17, 1921 in Levant, a son of Norman and Elizabeth (Knowlton) Gray. The family moved to Plymouth during his childhood. From an early age, Ralph was a hard worker on the farm and built roads for the town. He later worked in the woods, and in factories in Connecticut. In 1943, Ralph learned a new line of work when he entered the U.S. Army at Fort Devons, Massachusetts. He became an ambulance driver and was assigned to advanced training in Arizona. While stationed in Arizona, Ralph was stricken with a serious illness, which stayed with him throughout his life. He learned to fly on the G.I. Bill, and loved piloting open-cockpit airplanes around central Maine.

While visiting his family in Maine, he met Charlotte McAtee. They were married on June 16, 1956. Ralph, Charlotte and their two young daughters, Toni and Donna, lived in Connecticut for a short time before moving to Plymouth. That's when their son David was born. Ralph worked at several local mills until his service-related illness forced him to retire.

Ralph was a very proud World War II veteran, a life member of the American Legion and a Past Commander of Barrows-Skidgel Post #105 in Newport. He loved hunting and fishing, and spent countless hours on the water with his children. In later years, he enjoyed watching two of his grandsons compete in motocross races. Most of all, Ralph was an extraordinarily loving husband, father and grandfather. He loved all of his family very much. He had a tremendous determination to live to see his family grow - and he did.

In addition to his wife of 53 years, he is survived by 2 daughters, Toni Pinkham of Manchester, N.H. and Donna Carrigan and husband Don of Walpole; a son David Gray and wife Michelle of Plymouth; and Bradley Stewart of Lincoln, who lived with the family for a number of years; 11 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Earl Gray, and a sister, Dorothy Stewart. Ralph's family would like to thank the staff of the East Side Rehabilitation Center in Bangor for their loving care and friendship to Ralph.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 P.M., Thursday, August 20th at Crosby & Neal, 117 Main Street, Newport. Funeral services will be held 2 P.M. Friday, August 21st at the Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church, Plymouth, with the Rev. Robert Emrich officiating. Burial with military honors will be in the Sawyer Cemetery, Plymouth. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Ralph's memory are invited to make donations to the Vet Aid Program of the American Legion, in care of Department of Maine, American Legion, P. O. Box 900, Waterville, ME 04903. Those who wish may leave written tributes at www.CrosbyNeal.com.

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