W. R. Gray, Jr., age 87, of Ballinger passed away Monday, November 28, 2011 at Central Texas Nursing and Rehabilitation in Ballinger after a brief illness.
Buddy was born January 2, 1924 in Ballinger. He was the son of Bud and Pansy Gray, long-time Ballinger and Bethel stock farmers. He married Esther "Mickie" Miksovsky August 2, 1947 in Eagle Pass, Texas. He graduated from Ballinger High School and attended John Tarleton. He served in the Army in World War II in the southwest Pacific. Buddy was the oldest member of the Ballinger American Legion, and also belonged to Ballinger Country Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Jaycees, holding offices in those organizations. He was a 33rd Degree Mason with a 50 year pin.
Buddy retired after 35 years of service with the USDA-ASCS as Runnels County Executive Director. He was also engaged in stock farming, spraying service, and farm radio programs. He was a member and deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Ballinger.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, a brother, Bobby Gray, and a daughter-in-law, Mary Gray.
Buddy is survived by two daughters, Terry Parish and husband, Linn, of Lubbock and Jane Gray of San Angelo; two sons, Winton R. "Bo" Gray, III and Deb Parker of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Zane "Butch" Gray of Ballinger; grandson, Dr. O. L. "Bud" Parish, IV and wife, Dr. Deidre Parish of Lubbock; two great-granddaughters, Catherine and Isabella Parish; and sister-in-law, Della Gray of Austin. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation for family and friends was Wednesday, November 30 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Lange Funeral Home. Funeral services were at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 1 at the First Presbyterian Church in Ballinger with burial in Evergreen Cemetery. Pastor Wilma Harris officiated. Pallbearers were Gene Davis, Wendel Underwood, Winton Milliff, Chuck Kirk, Jim (Smiley) Walden, and Joe Don Murman. Honorary pallbearers were Joe Freeman, Lee Roy Muller, Dalton Lacy, and Gilbert Minzenmayer.
The family extends special thanks to Carol Jennings and the staff of Hospice of Ballinger, and to the staff of Central Texas Nursing and Rehabilitation. Memorials may be made to Runnels County Meals on Wheels, 627 Strong Ave., Ballinger, Texas 76821 or to a favorite charity.
Guests may register online at ballingerfuneralhome.com.