John Gray

John Clelland Gray
October 28, 1936 - February 19, 2014
John was born October 28, 1936 in Boise, Idaho to John J & Mary Hill Gray. He was raised and educated in Boise, graduating from Boise High School in 1955.
John married Carolyn Williams in 1957. He served in the Army Combat Engineers from 1955 to 1958. In 1964 John and Carolyn assumed operation and eventually purchased the Owyhee Trading Post from her parents, Josephine and Leland Williams. In 1970 John obtained his Private Pilot's License. He attended Northrup University Aviation School and obtained his Aviation and Power Plant Mechanics License, while Carolyn ran the store. They moved to Cascade, Idaho in 1975. John first worked at Cascade Auto as Parts Manager, and then went to work at Arnold Aviation, as mechanic and Director of Maintenance, starting a 35 year career in aviation. In 1980, John and Patricia Ingalls Mills were married. He helped raise her son, Phillip. He & Pat enjoyed air camping in their 1956 Cessna 172, all over the Northwest. In 1981, he obtained his Inspection Authorization (IA) license from the FAA. He started Aviation Specialists in Buhl, Id; after three years, he moved his maintenance shop to the Caldwell Airport. In 1994, he renamed his business Wolverine Engines, and built only custom balanced Aircraft Engines. After his cancer went into remission in 1999, he reopened his business due to the encouragement of friends & business associates; then he & his wife retired in 2007. Although he had a busy schedule, they enjoyed camping, fishing; traveling to Mexico, Arizona, Canada, and the Oregon Coast. He loved spending time with his grandchildren. John & Pat were involved with the United States Sprint Boat Assn. for several years; he raced his own boat. After retirement, he spent many hours in his "shop" at home building marine engines; he completely restored a 1968 Model 174 Glastron boat. He could build anything and if he needed a part and couldn't find one, he made it on his lathe.
He is survived by his wife, Pat, of 33 years; son John D Gray (Cindy) of Star; daughter Kelly L. Eiseman (John) of Woodland, WA ; son Phillip A. Mills (Tami) of Boise; grandchildren, Tommy Bailey, Monica Brock (Brett), Mia Munoz, Matthew Mills(Elizabeth) , Keelie Mills, Joseph & Joshua Eiseman, great-grandson, Brock Munoz; brother-in-law Ron Ingalls (Yvette) of Boise; nieces & nephews Ashley, Riley, Megan & Matthew; step-sister Norma Harris of Grace.
He was preceded in death by John J & Mary Hill Gray; youngest daughter Darla Marie; stepmother Sarah Little Gray; his wife's parents Stanley & Barbara Ingalls.
The family wishes to add a special thank you to Horizon Hospice, especially Shauna, Jodi, Julie, Mary and Dr. Llenos for their wonderful compassionate care of John.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 25th at Dakan Funeral Chapel in Caldwell. Memories and condolences may be shared with John's family in his online tribute page at


Funeral Home

Dakan Funeral Chapel
504 South Kimball Avenue Caldwell, ID 83605
(208) 459-3629

Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Feb. 23, 2014