Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Inc. - Springfield
1947 East Seminole Street
Springfield, MO 65804
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Jack F. Gray

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Jack F. Gray

Springfield - It is with great sorrow, the family of Jack Gray announces his passing on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 3:17 p.m. Jack's wishes were to be at home overlooking his beloved farm.

On August 26, 1939 the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-1. This was the first televised ball game in the history of baseball. And in the back of a family's grocery store, Jack and Bessie Ray Gray welcomed their son into the world. And proudly, a new sign was hoisted above their store reading, "Jack Gray and Son."

At the age of 7, Jack lost his dad. And at that moment, with a grieving mother and 5 sisters to care for, one an infant, Jack worked so his family could live. Whether delivering groceries on his bike or hitching a ride to Hickory Hills golf club to caddy all day, Jack took his new role seriously.

His school days included St. Joseph and St. Agnes Catholic schools. He graduated from Central High School class of 1957.

His love of sports, especially baseball, led him to many games escorted by his mom overlooking in the stands. He was an excellent catcher and caught for many triple A teams. And his forever favorite team was the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In his youth, he was an avid bowler. He also loved his golfing buddies at Greene Hills Country Club.

Jack Gray was never afraid of hard work! His career went from working in the grocery industry to representing hundreds of workers in many grocery stores, barbers and shoe workers.

He proudly served his members in 3 states and was President of Retail Clerks/U.F.C.W. Local 322 for 35 years. From better wages to health benefits to pension funds, Jack always stood up for the working class. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas City Pension Fund and also served as President of the Springfield Labor Council. With his office staff by his side, Jack fought for working men and women.

Jack was a past member of the Springfield Park Board. He was a member of the steering committee to build Holy Trinity Church and was proud to be a member of Elks Lodge 409 for 29 years. Serving for several years on the Elks 409 Governing Board, Jack was also past Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was a staunch Democrat and was a committeeman for his voting district of Taylor Township. He met many Elected Presidents, Senators and Governors. He worked in many campaigns.

Jack's farm called: "The Rainbow Ranch," was his greatest achievement. Listening to local farmers and neighbors, going to classes and listening to his Vet give sage advice, taught him the meaning of farming and saving the land.

Seeing his vision come true was his dream in living color! He had several cattle, all named, and his love for his dogs is what got him up in the morning. His faithful companion, Simon, will truly miss him.

Preceding Jack in death were his parents, Jack and Bessie Gray, 5 sisters, Mary Jean, Lavern, (infant) Hazel, Ruth and JoAnn.

He is survived by his loving wife, Merrie Gail Pickering-Gray. And by a previous marriage; his son Jack Andrew Gray (Diane); two daughters Lesley Aldridge (Terry) and Stacey Becker-Scott; his sister Margo Welsh and her husband, Richard. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, Kimber Gray, Katelyn Gray, Jessica, Tyler and Taylor Aldridge, and Ezra, Einn and Evan Becker. Jack has many nieces, nephews and cousins that he dearly loved, and many friends that he has cherished.

Visitation will be Friday, February 9, 2018 from 6 to 8:00 p.m., with prayer service at 7:00 p.m. at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, 1115 N. Campbell, with Father Denis Dougherty and Father Tom Kiefer con-celebrants. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

Please send donations in honor of Jack to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, or .

A very special thank you to those who came by to visit Jack.
Published in the News-Leader on Feb. 7, 2018
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