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D'Wayne Gray

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D'Wayne Gray Obituary
Former Fort Worth resident and retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. D'Wayne Gray died Saturday, March 1, 2014, at his home in Falls Church, Va. He was 82. Service: 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 18, in the Fort Meyer Memorial Chapel at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va. Memorials: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Marine Corps Museum or the Wounded Warriors Project. Gen. Gray's military career spanned 35 years of service in the Marine Corps. He started as a private in the Reserve with the Fort Worth Reserve Unit, 2nd 155 Howitzer Battalion, activated at the start of the Korean War. Gray entered the Navy ROTC program in 1950 and graduated from the University of Texas in 1952. By the time he retired in October 1987 he was a three-star general. Along the way, he served a combat tour in Korea and two combat tours in Vietnam. After promotion to general, he served in a succession of positions of increasing responsibility at Marine Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C., culminating in chief of staff. He concluded his career as commander of Marine Corps forces in the United States Pacific Command, comprising two-thirds of the operating forces of the Corps. He was widely noted for his intellectual prowess. "He was always much brighter than the rest of us," said Joseph Hoar, a retired four-star Marine general who had worked with Gray. His personal decorations are the Legion of Merit with a Combat "V" and a gold star in lieu of a second star, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of a second award, Air Medal with Numeral 5, Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat "V," Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V", and the Combat Action Ribbon. After retirement from the Marine Corps, Gray served as chief executive officer of the Montgomery Country Revenue Authority. In January 1989, President George H.W. Bush nominated Gray to be the first Undersecretary for Benefits in the newly created cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs. In that position, he was directly responsible for the delivery of $17 billion annually in non-medical benefits to military veterans, their dependents, and their survivors. He served in that post until November 1992 when he suffered a severe heart attack and again retired. Gen. Gray was born in Corsicana on April 9, 1931, and grew up in Fort Worth, where he graduated from North Side High School in 1947. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas in 1952. He later received a master's degree in international affairs from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and completed the executive program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Gen. Gray was a member of the board of directors of the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis, Md., a naval publisher, and chairman of its editorial board. He served on the board of directors of The Retired Officers Association and was a member of Maritime Policy Study Group of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Survivors: His wife of 58 years, Joan Gray; son, Stephen Gray of Bel Air, Md.; daughters, Elizabeth Gray Hendrickson and spouse, Jeffrey Hendrickson; grandson, Matthew Hendrickson of Arlington, Va.; and Theresa Croghan and spouse, Dr. John Croghan; and granddaughters, Rosie, Elizabeth and Mary of Chicago, Ill.
Published in Star-Telegram on Mar. 16, 2014
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