Howard Eugene Gray was born on January 1, 1932 in Quail, Texas (population 72). His parents were Howard C. and Ruby Irene (Arnold) Gray. He passed away at home on December 9, 2013 at the age of 81.
Gene, as he was known to those who knew him well, spent his early years on a ranch in Texas before the family moved to Warrenton, Oregon in 1940. He graduated from Warrenton High School with the class of 1951. In 1952 he married Ruth Ann Smith, is high school sweetheart. Gene joined the Air Force in 1951 shortly after finishing high school, and he and Ruthie lived in Germany in 1953-54 while Gene was stationed there. He served four years of active service and four years in the Reserves, being discharged in 1959.
In 1955, Gene and Ruthie settled in Astoria and he went to work for AT&T. Although they live and worked at several temporary assignments in Portland and Salem, they always came back to their home in Astoria. Children Michael and Debra were born in 1960 and 1962, respectively.
Gene enjoyed fishing, hunting, coaching or watching his children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren play sports, and generally spending time with his family. In recent years the weekly coffee meting with his former high school classmates was a highlight of his week.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, wife Ruth Ann, sisters Fern Puckett and Sara Migliaccio. He is survived by his son Mike (Vickie) Gray of North Bend; daughter Debbie (Steve) Cutlip of Astoria; sister Irma (Lewis) Berry of Woodburn, OR; grandchildren Abby Rusinovich Adri Kelley, Mariah and Tanner Gray, and his five great-grandchildren Carley, Conner, and Caitlyn Kelley, and Nick and Aubrey Rusinovich. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
At his request, no formal funeral services will be take place, although a family gathering will celebrate his life.