D'WAYNE GRAY (1931 - 2014)

Death Notice
  • "I worked for Gen. Gray on his staff from '85-'87 when he..."
    - Bob Phillips
  • "Mrs. Joan Gray & Family, I was honored to have served..."
    - Thomas E Williamson, HMCS, USN (ret)
  • "My thoughts and prayers, especially today go out to the..."
    - Lea Ann Bernick
  • "Please know that my thoughts and prayers will be with you..."
  • "I met D'Wayne about 12 years ago at our first 15th SBC..."
    - John & Jo Featherstone

GRAY Lt. General D'WAYNE GRAY, USMC (Ret.) D'Wayne Gray, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General, died March 1, 2014 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia. He had congestive heart failure, his wife, Joan Gray, said. He was 82. Gen. Gray's military career spanned 35 years of service in the Marine Corps. He started as a private in the reserves and, following graduation from the Naval ROTC program at the University of Texas in 1952, entered the Corps. 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, 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, a government-owned non-profit corporation that provided a variety of services, including providing housing for the elderly, an airport, and public golf courses. In January 1989, President George H.W. Bush nominated Gray to be the first Under Secretary 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, Texas, on April 9, 1931, and grew up in Fort Worth, where he graduated from North Side High School. 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, DC, and completed the executive program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Gen. Gray has been 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. He was a member of The Arimatheans, a group of older men who serve as altar boys to assist in Catholic funeral masses for military members. He was core group member of Tertulia, a monthly lunch and discussion group on public policy issues. Late in his life he was a member and one of the organizers of Lake Barcroft Village. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Joan Gray; son Stephen Gray of Bel Air, MD; daughters Elizabeth (Gray) Hendrickson, spouse Jeffrey Hendrickson, grandson Matthew Hendrickson, of Arlington, VA; and Theresa Croghan, spouse Dr. John Croghan, granddaughters Rosie, Elizabeth, and Mary, of Chicago, IL. Services will be held on March 18 at 8:45 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel at Fort Meyer. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Marine Corps Museum or the Wounded Warriors Project.Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Joan Gray; son Stephen Gray of Bel Air, MD; daughters Elizabeth (Gray) Hendrickson, spouse Jeffrey Hendrickson, grandson Matthew Hendrickson, of Arlington, VA; and Theresa Croghan, spouse Dr. John Croghan, granddaughters Rosie, Elizabeth, and Mary, of Chicago, IL. Services will be held on March 18 at 8:45 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel at Fort Meyer. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Marine Corps Museum or the Wounded Warriors Project.

Published in The Washington Post on Mar. 10, 2014
D'Wayne Gray
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