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Son of Willis and Lula Anderson Gray Earl L. Gray, son of Willis and Lula Anderson Gray, was born in Brushy Knob, Mo., on Nov. 3, 1922, and died suddenly at home on Nov. 29, 2005, at the age of 83.
He was raised in the Brushy Knob area and was converted at the age of 8, which had a great impact on his entire life.
He graduated from Ava High School in 1942, and honorably served over three years in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
He built, owned and operated Earl Gray’s Auto Repair in Tucson, Ariz., for over a decade. Earl was an accomplished folk artist (wood and sandstone carvings, paintings, and rock arrangements), loved to sing and play his guitars, banjo, mandolin and harmonica; enjoyed picnics with his high school class reunions and his family and friends on his farm. Earl loved life, enjoyed swapping stories and jokes, and was always busy with a project.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Marion, his first child who died in infancy, Joyce Loretta, and his childhood best friend and cousin, Harley Hitchcock, who was killed in World War II.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Norma D. Elliott Gray; three children from his former marriage, Eddie Gray, Larry Gray and Norma Gray, all of Tucson, Ariz.; his sister, Hazel Oxley and her husband, Jim, of Mtn. Grove; a brother, Walter Gray and his wife, Hazel, of Nebraska; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Earl Gray were held Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m., in the Cornerstone Freewill Baptist Church, Mtn. Grove, with the Rev. Ronald Turner officiating. Burial was in Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of the Craig-Hurtt-Bradley Funeral Home, Mtn. Grove.