Col. (Ret.) Frank (“Pete”) McKay Gray Jr., age 84, of Winchester, Tennessee, passed away on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank McKay Gray, Sr. and Lucille Curtis Gray, and his beloved wife of 61 years, Bonnie Bradshaw Gray, who passed away last year. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Gray Vogelfanger, and his grandson, Kellen McKay Vogelfanger, of Franklin, TN.
Frank was born on December 3, 1934, in Montgomery County, MS. He grew up in Winona, MS, and as a young child, acquired the nickname, “Pete,” which stuck with him throughout his life. Pete graduated from Mississippi State University in 1956, after which he was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. He married Bonnie that same year, and they spent the next 27 years traveling the world during his long and distinguished military career. Along this journey, he earned an MBA from University of Northern Colorado. Pete was a Viet Nam veteran, earning several service medals and awards. His last assignments included Comptroller of Ft. Campbell, KY, and Commander/Deputy Director of Ballistic Defense Advanced Technology Center (BMDATC) at Redstone Arsenal, AL, respectively. After retiring from the military in 1984, Pete began a second career as Director of Business Development at Nichols Research Corporation in Huntsville, AL. In 1997, he and Bonnie retired full time to Tim’s Ford Lake in Winchester, Tennessee, where they lived a very full and happy life alongside neighbors who became family.
A lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, Pete particularly enjoyed spending time with his grandson, fishing, doing crossword puzzles, and watching SEC/Mississippi State sports. He was an only child but was blessed with cousins who were like brothers. Their families remained close throughout the years, and Pete spent a lot of time with them at MSU alumni events and football games. He was frequently recognized in his boat on Tim's Ford Lake as “the guy with the white poodle.”
Pete will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
A Celebration of Life will be held on October 26, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church 100 South Jefferson Street Winchester, TN. 37398. Interment will follow at Watson-North Memorial Park, Winchester, TN., with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church 100 South Jefferson Street Winchester, TN. 37398
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