GRAYHEK, LeRoy Arthur "Roy" Our sweet Papa died on February 11th, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, with family by his side. Roy recently told his family that he had lived a beautiful and full life, and that death would be the next "big adventure." Roy was born on October 20, 1922 to George and Kathryn Grayhek in San Jose, California. He graduated from high school in Pendleton, Oregon in 1939. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in November of 1940. In October of 1942, Roy volunteered for the elite Marine Raiders. He was a member of the 4th Raider Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. James Roosevelt throughout the Pacific theater. He was wounded in action on July 20, 1943. His unit was the first to land in Japan on August 30, 1945. Roy was awarded a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars for distinguished service to his country. Roy went on to work for the Pacific Northwest "Ma" Bell Company for the next forty years, he retired in 1986. Roy met Mary Bricker on a blind date in April, 1946 in Bremerton, Washington and they were married six weeks later(!) at the Naval Chapel. A true son of St. Joseph, Dad built the family home in Hillyard, where they raised their family and still reside. In 1961, they purchased property on Priest Lake, and Roy, Mary and the kids worked together to build the family cabin on Priest Lake. Since 1953, Roy and Mary have been active members of St. Patrick's Church. Roy's Catholic faith made him the man he was. He was a joyful, humble and generous servant to family and friends. Roy was preceded in death by his parents George and Kathryn, his brother Vernon and baby daughter, Annette. He is survived by his wife, Mary, of nearly 68 years; his sister Kathleen; his seven children: Steve (Mardell), Diane Hardy (Dennis), Larry (Janet), Theresa Ferguson (John), Paul (Paula), Marie Duchow (Darby), Jeanette Steiner, twenty-five grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. Roy had an impish sense of humor, loved a good joke and good-hearted pranks. He enjoyed fishing at the lake, working in his woodshop and garden, and lived long enough to see his team, the Seahawks, win the Super Bowl!! Roy was devoted to his Catholic faith, his family and his country. He always modeled hard work, service and sacrifice to all. We will forever miss our Marine Raider. Semper Fidelis, Papa, we love you so VERY much. A Rosary vigil will be held Friday, February 14 at 7pm at St. Patrick's Church. The funeral Mass will be held Saturday, February 15 at 10am at St. Patrick's. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Patrick's in Roy's memory.
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Published in Spokesman-Review from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2014