Vincent A. Gray, 91, Lawrence, departed peacefully on May 20, 2012. A private family service is being planned.
Vincent was born on May 29, 1920 in Holton, KS, the son of Warren and Clara Gray.
He graduated from Holton High School, and then worked for his uncle in a retail jewelry store in Hiawatha, KS. After the Onset of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served as an aircraft instrument technician while stationed at Pearl Harbor for the remainder of the war.
Vincent then returned to the northeast Kansas, completed watchmaker school in Kansas City, and resumed his trade in the jewelry store in Hiawatha. Soon after, he discovered his most precious gem, and married Ceola Irene Bauerle of Hamlin, KS. They have been constant companions in the intervening 64+ years. While operating Gray Jewelers, Vincent and Ceola began taking much deserved vacation trips to such locales as Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Australia, and New Zealand. After his retirement in 1976, they were free to pursue more travel to Mexico, Europe, and winter migrations to McAllen, TX. They enjoyed making new friends in Texas, but later felt the allure of living in Lawrence, KS, and have lived there since 1991. During this time they quite naturally became devoted KU basketball fans. Ceola continues to reside at Brandon Woods.
Vincent is survived by “the most beautiful girl I have ever known,” Ceola; three sons, Scott (Lori) of Grand Junction, CO, Charles (Iras) of Hayward, WI, Lynn (Patricia) of Kansas City, MO. He is also survived by the respective grandchildren: Carrie (Keith Hagan & great-grandson Eamon), Lindsay (Shandon Lewis & great-grandson Holden), Sarah (Isaac Frerichs), Bryce and Corey; Hannah; and Joni and Harvest. Four nieces and one nephew also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Bonnie Hochuli.
He lived a life that was accentuated by a love of travel, the willingness to try new experiences, whether in food, music, or technologies, and an intellectual curiosity that led him to study and become a Certified Gemologist. He also developed a nearly daily ritual of searching NASA/JPL websites for their latest space exploration photos. May he continue to enjoy that cosmic quest.
The family suggests memorials in his name be given to Grace Hospice and may be sent in care of the mortuary.