Dr. Harold Gray

Mystic - Dr. Harold E. Gray, 91, U.S. Army Captain of World War II and beloved husband of 65 years to Virginia (Ryan) Gray passed away peacefully, Monday, June 8, 2009.

Born in North Stonington, CT. he was the son of the late Ellsworth and Alice (Finegan) Gray. He was born and raised on the family farm until he graduated from the Wheeler School.

He went on to attend Kansas State University where he graduated with a BS degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1940. He earned his PhD. at Cornell University and eventually became a full professor at Cornell. While there, he served as a consultant to the University of the Philippines.

As part of the greatest generation, he spent five years serving his country as a captain in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II.

In 1958 he became the Vice President of the Greenhouse Division of the Burnham Corporation. Later he became the CEO for National Greenhouse Corporation in Pana, Ill. After his retirement in 1984, he served as the Executive Director for the National Greenhouse Manufacturer's Association.

Dr. Gray is the author of "Farm Service Buildings", published by McGraw Hill and "Greenhouse Construction and Heating" by Florist Publishing as well as numerous technical articles on agricultural engineering subjects.

Harold enjoyed gardening and playing golf, but most of all he was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who will be deeply missed.

Besides his wife, he leaves four daughters; Virginia Frase and her husband, Michael, of Rolling Meadows Ill.; Barbara Lally and her husband, Thomas, of Lacy, Wash.; Patricia Gray of Bolton, Mass.; and Christine Rourke and her husband, Kevin, of Gunnison, Colo.; four grandchildren, Ryan Schiltz and her husband, Matthew; Randy Frase and his wife, Rebecca; and Shaughn and Abigail Rourke; and two brothers-in-law; Edward A. Ryan of Monmouth Beach, N.J.; and Charles A. Ryan of Newland, N.C.

The family will receive friends 4 - 6 p.m. on Friday, June 12, 2009 at the Mystic Funeral Home, Route 1, Mystic (51 Williams Ave).

A memorial service celebrating Harold's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 13 at the North Stonington Congregational Church, 89 Main St. Burial with full military honors will be held privately by the family.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the North Stonington Congregational Church, 89 Main St., North Stonington, CT. 06359.

The Gray family invites you to visit www.mysticfuneralhome.com for directions and to share an online message of condolence.

Published in The Day on June 11, 2009