STERLING FUNERAL HOME: On Saturday, March 28th, 2020, Billy R. Gray, age 89, having completed his journey in this life, went to be with his Lord Jesus and to reunite with his wife Tavia Rae Gray. A long-time resident of Wallisville, Bill was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, teacher, missionary, scout leader, Royal Ambassadors leader, and friend. He had a kind word for everyone he met and every person who met him even briefly was richer for it. He had a way of brightening up any room and making everyone in it feel “special” and to him they were. Each and every person mattered. Even in the most difficult days, his dry wit inspired good-natured laughter.
Born December 3, 1930, Billy was preceded in death by his wife, Tavia, his mother and father, Kit Carson Gray, Sr. and Viola Hyde Gray, his sister and his brother, Dorothy Armstrong and Kit Carson, Jr. and nephew Brian Armstrong.
He leaves a legacy of faith and loving memories to his daughters and sons-in-law, Rachel Ann and John Feist of Wallisville, Rebekah Jean and Steven Villano of Clear Lake, grand-daughters and their husbands, Rebekah Jean and Jason Stoneberg of Wheaton, Illinois, Ruth Ann and Brett Johnson of Leander, Raeann and John Andres of Galveston, grandson, Daniel Villano and great-grandchildren, Liam and Jacob Stoneberg and Emma and Eli Johnson and nephews Dan Gray of Wichita Falls and Kenneth Armstrong of Katy, TX and families. He also leaves a host of loving relatives, friends, and former students.
After graduation from Wichita Falls High School, Bill studied at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and went on to complete his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the University of Texas in Austin, Tx. It was there that he met his wife Tavia. He began his teaching career in the Dallas ISD where he taught High School for 11 years and then he and Tavia moved to Anahuac, Texas where he spent the next 30 years as a 5th grade Math teacher.
Bill was involved in Boy Scouts of America both as a scout, earning the rank of Eagle Scout and as a leader for many years. He was also an active member of First Baptist Church Anahuac where he taught Sunday School, led Royal Ambassadors, and worked in the Spanish Mission.
For the past several years, he attended the Middleton Memorial United Methodist Church in Wallisville where he and his wife were the first couple to be married.
After his wife, Tavia, passed away in 1987, he pursued a dream of his wife’s and went to teach on the mission fields of American Samoa and Honduras. He was a teacher for life and continued to impact the lives of people young and old with his quiet, kind, generous, and loving spirit. Former students always told him that he was their favorite teacher. His impact on the lives of so many students will live on.
Bill loved building things, fishing, listening to and watching birds, especially the hummingbirds that visited his feeders every season. However, his favorite pastime was spending time with his family. He attended every extracurricular activity of his grandchildren and was their biggest supporter and fan. Being there for them was his greatest joy. Bill’s love for life and generous heart will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 crisis, there will be no services at this time. A memorial service celebrating Bill’s life will be held at a later date.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in remembrance of Billy R. Gray to the ministry he supported in Honduras. The website is https://hopeinhonduras.org/
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