Frank Benton Gray, MD
Knoxville - Frank Benton Gray, MD, 78 of Knoxville, passed away on May 29, 2020, after being diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in February. He faced his illness with calm resolve, courage and concern for his family.
Dr. Gray was born in Durham, NC in 1942, attended public school there and later graduated from Duke University in 1964 with a pre-med focus and majoring in piano. In 1969, he graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, having co-founded the Student Health Action Coalition during his student days. This was the first of the medical school indigent care clinics in the country and recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. In his senior year, he married Anna Alligood, a pediatric nurse at UNC Memorial Hospital. This was to be a loving union lasting fifty-two years.
Following two years of surgical training at Duke, Dr. Gray entered the US Navy, earning the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He then returned to Duke to complete a four year residency program in orthopedic surgery. In 1977 the Gray family moved to Knoxville where he joined the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic and specialized in total hip and total knee replacement. He performed thousands of these procedures during his career, was respected by his colleagues and staff, and was loved by his patients. He retired from active practice in 2000 but continued seeing patients as a volunteer physician at the Interfaith Clinic until 2017.
Dr. Gray was a member of numerous medical and orthopedic societies and listed among the Best Doctors in America. In 1983, he co-founded the Society of Arthritic Joint Surgery, which today includes some of the country's best known and most experienced total joint surgeons. He was also interested in orthopedic product development research, held numerous patents and had several of his products in use in operating rooms around the world. He lectured for a number of years, both nationally and internationally, on surgical techniques used in total joint replacement.
Dr. Gray was an accomplished classical pianist, and music was always an integral part of his life. He was a board member of the Knoxville Symphony for over forty years, serving as president for four of those years. During his life, he also served on several other non-profit boards and committees and was an active member of St. John's Episcopal Cathedral. He helped oversee the renovation of St. John's Cathedral in 2019 and Cherokee Country Club in 2007. He was an avid golfer and at one time, a recreational pilot.
Dr. Gray is preceded in death by his parents, Frank Benjamin Gray and Elizabeth Spencer Gray and by brother, Spencer Gray. He is survived by his wife, Anna Alligood Gray; son, David Harrison Gray (Sara) of Davidson, NC; daughter, Catherine Piper Gray Rose (Jeremy) of Knoxville, TN; and his beloved grandsons Hutton (11), Philip (8) and Teddy Rose (6) and Harrison Gray (11). He is also survived by his sister, Cindy Gray of Key Largo, FL; brother, John Gray and sister, Betsy Gray of Durham, NC.
A memorial service at St. John's Cathedral will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the following: St. John's Cathedral, 413 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902; Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, 100 S. Gay Street #302, Knoxville, TN 37902; Interfaith Health Clinic, 315 Gill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37917 or a charity of your choice
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Dr. David Rankin, Dr. George Baddour, Dr. Keith Gray, Dr. Laura Enomoto, UT Chaplain Anne Sprouse, St. John's clergy, UT Home Health and Hospice doctors and nurses, and to friends for their messages of love.
Online condolences may be extended at www.rosemortuary.com