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Obituary: Gray, John M. (Johnie)

Age 87

GRAY, John M. “Johnie” (Age 87) Passed away at his home in Spokane Valley on August 4, 2013 at the age of 87. He was born September 13, 1925, in Spokane, the youngest of five children to John S. and Floy (McKinzie) Gray. John graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1943, where he took a class that started him on his way to a career as a machinist. Immediately after graduating he enrolled in the Spokane Trade School to study to be an Aircraft Machinist and then got a job at the Spokane Army Depot making parts for airplanes. On his 18th birthday he signed up for the draft for WWII, joined the Navy and became an Aviation Machinist Mate, flying in a PB4Y-1. After the war John became a journeyman machinist and eventually an instructor at Spokane Community College, where he taught for 25 years before retiring in 1982. In January 1951, a wonderful event happened in John’s life. At a dance at the YWCA he met a “wonderful” girl named Janet Blakely. They were married on July 8, 1951 and made their home together in a house John built in the Spokane Valley where they raised 3 children: Jimmy, Jerry, and Gina. John belonged to the North Hill Lodge of Free Masons, was a member of the International Association of Machinists, the Loyal Order of the Moose, and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla #82. With his wife, Janet, John particularly enjoyed his time with the flotilla, and had lots of great times boating and camping. Another favorite pastime they shared for 23 years was playing Mexican Dominoes weekly with a group of good friends. At different times in his life John spent time fishing, golfing, gardening, working on his computer, and traveling (especially to Hawaii). John is survived by his wife of 62 years, Janet Gray, Spokane Valley; two sons and daughter-in-laws, Jimmy Gray and his wife Lori, Palm Desert, CA, Jerry Gray and his wife, Diana, Palm Desert, CA; one daughter and son-in-law, Gina Reidt and her husband Jake, Hay, WA; one sister, Leona Gates, Spokane Valley, WA; eight grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Roy Gray and Vernon Gray; and one sister, Beulah Dean. A memorial service will be planned for a later date. Friends who wish may make memorial contributions in John’s name to Shriners Hospital or Hospice of Spokane.