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Donald William Gray

                     Donald Gray

Donald William Gray, 88, of Cedar Falls died Sunday, August 20, 2017 at Lakeview Landing in Waterloo. He was born November 15, 1928 in Elk River, MN, the oldest son of eleven children of Glen M. Gray and Helen Beck Gray, He graduated from Elk River High School in 1946 and from Asbury College in Kentucky in 1950. He then enrolled in the seminary at Emory University in Atlanta and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. He was a Methodist minister serving in small towns in Minnesota. He resigned from the ministry and enrolled in the University of Minnesota's Library Science program. He was appointed Director of the library when the University of Minnesota established a branch of the University in Morris, Minnesota. He accepted a position as Assistant Director of the UNI Library in 1967, retiring in 1990. He worked part time for the UNI Foundation during the fund drive for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

He married Vivian Blasjo in Barnum, MN in 1953. They were later divorced.

He married Barbara Porter Waterloo in 1985.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara; a son, Kelly (Marcella) of Kensington, MD; two daughters, Joni (Johann) Gray of Minneapolis and Karen Beal (James) of Des Monies, and three step-children, William Poter (Deann) of Lansing MI, Marsha Porter of St Paul, MN, and Diane Porter of West Fargo ND. There are eight grandchildren: Brad, Ben, Anne, Will, Jane, Ellie, John, Frankie; eight great-grand children: Belle, Zeke, Kirsten, June, Avery, Sawyer, Caitlin, and Evelyn.

He is survived by brothers, George, David, Lloyd, and Mark, and sisters, Eleanor and Harriet. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, two brothers, Stan and Robert, and two sisters, Ruth and Crystal.

Don was an avid reader of history, biography, fiction, and non-fiction. But best of all, he loved reading to grandchildren piled three-deep on his lap. He was also an avid bicyclist and did challenging rides such as Ironman in Minnesota and Ragbrai several times. He spent many hours doing 20-mile rides on trails and blacktop roads nearby. He kept a record of every ride in notebooks. He loved classical music, John Phillip Sousa marches, cheeseburgers, and Minnesota hot dish liberally sprinkle with Tabasco sauce.

Memorial gathering will be at a later date. Memorials may be directed to UNI Foundation or Hospice

 

 


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives 
University of Northern Iowa 
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675 
Telephone: (319)-273-7295
Fax: (319)-273-2913 
Email: libarchives@uni.edu

 

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