Marshall Gray passed away April 10, 2007, at Evergreen Care Center. He was born May 19, 1917, to Kyle and Polly Gray in Pablo. He attended schools at Ronan and enrolled at Montana State College in 1935 in mechanical engineering.
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World War II and Pearl Harbor, he and every eligible student enlisted. Marshall joined the Sea Bees and went directly to Kodiak Island, Alaska, to build air fields and dredge harbors for the big ships.
On Sept. 19, 1943, he returned to Bozeman and married his college sweetheart, Anna Christensen of Dillon. They were married in Hope Lutheran Church where they met.
War raging, he was hired by Peter Hewitt Construction as production engineer on the Rangor Ammunitions Depot on the Olympic Peninsula. He applied for a commission in the U.S. Navy. It was granted and he was shipped directly to Okinawa as a dredging engineer.
At war's end, Marshall returned to Montana to his wife and 2-year-old son. He moved to Seeley Lake and built Gray Lumber Co. In 20 years as operator and owner he built a million-dollar plant that he lost in a disastrous fire in 1965. While in business in Seeley Lake, he helped build the Blackfoot Church. He was on the Seeley Lake and Missoula Co. school boards. Through his efforts he built a new grade school and Seeley-Swan High School for Seeley Lake.
He moved to Canada in 1967 and for 20 years built and operated mills in British Columbia and Alberta.
He retired in 1984 and moved to Bozeman and built his home in the Reese Creek community. He helped upgrade Springhill Presbyterian Church, was fire chief at Reese Creek, spent 14 years working for Habitat for Humanity and established a Habitat ReStore. He was awarded citizen of the year by Gov. Judy Martz for his dedication to Habitat.
Marshall loved to travel and he enjoyed a guided tour of South America by his Peace Corps son. He and Ann celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in a trip to Scandinavia and Europe. He never missed a big game hunting season.
He passed away peacefully after four years of dementia in the care of his beloved wife Ann, after 62 years of marriage.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Kyle and Polly Gray; infant sister, Naomi; and brother, Herschel.
Marshall is survived by his wife, Ann, son, Jerry (Margaret) Gray and five grandchildren, Eileen, John, Kate, Dan and Bonnie, all of Bozeman; sister, Marsha (Jack) Jensen and their four children, Stephanie, Jackie, Kim of Winnett, and Heidi (Shaun) Lesnick of Roundup; also sister-in-law, June Gray and daughter, Sheila Ford, Robin, Alan, Terri Gray of Great Falls.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Springhill Presbyterian Church.
The family wishes to express grateful thanks to Dr. Sonnenberg and the caring nurses of Deaconess Hospital and Evergreen Care Center. Marshall's greatest gift to this area was his service to Habitat for Humanity.
In lieu of flowers, family requests a donation to Habitat in his memory.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 18, 2007