In 1929 Dean Gray was born in Lafayette, Indiana. His family eventually moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi where Dean spent his early years and went to high school. Dean returned to Lafayette to attend Purdue University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He went on to attend Lawrence University when he met and married his first wife Martha "Marti" Joanne Johnson (from Minnesota) in 1953. After receiving his Master’s in Paper Chemistry, Dean worked as a chemical engineer for several paper companies all around the U.S. Four Gray children were born in four different states: David (Wisconsin), Andrew (Arkansas), Ann (Maine), and Peter (South Carolina). He returned again to Purdue University with his family where he graduated with a Master’s in Industrial Engineering in 1967.
The Grays moved to Waxahachie from California in 1969. Dean and his family settled into Waxahachie, and Dean went to work for the City of Dallas, from which he retired in 1979. Dean lost his first wife Marti to cancer in 1985 but then met and married Bettie O'Brien (Flatonian living in Waxahachie) in 1989. Bettie passed away in 2014. Even before retiring, Dean exercised an interest in fixing up and restoring old Waxahachie homes. He was founder and CEO of Gray Construction which renovated over 21 homes. His own residence was even listed on the Gingerbread Trail in 2005. He also enjoyed playing bridge, loved history, was docent at the historical society for many years, supported the Chautauqua, visited nearly every historical marker in Texas, and always had a history lesson for us at family gatherings. He loved his kids and grandkids and delighted in the arrival of his great grandchildren.
Dean passed away at his home in Waxahachie on Monday, the 12th of August 2019, of natural causes. He is survived by all 4 children, 4 grandchildren: Dinah, Josh, Jake, and Bethany, and 3 great grandchildren as well as 3 O'Brien step-children, 3 step-grandchildren, and 1 step-great grandchild.
A memorial service will be held at the Central Presbyterian Church in Waxahachie on Saturday August 31st at 1 PM. Please feel free to join us to celebrate the life of Dean Lowell Gray. Memorial gifts may be made to the Central Presbyterian Church or the Chautauqua Preservation Society of Waxahachie.