John Richard Gray


John Richard Gray, age 84, the son of the late Austin and Freecie (Bryant) Gray, was born in Thayer Missouri on June 13, 1933.  John passed away Sunday morning, June 18, 2017, at his home in Aurora Missouri. 

John was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Aurora and provided caring ministry to those in need as a Stephen Minister at Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church in Sun City West, Arizona.  John began his career as a butcher in his hometown of Thayer, Missouri.  He went on to work for the FBI in Washington, D.C. and as the Vice President of the Wyoming National Bank in Casper, Wyoming and went on to be an entrepreneur owning multiple businesses in retail, pharmacy, real estate, finance and ranching. 

A loving husband, father and grandfather, John loved being with his family.  He loved listening to gospel music, reading his Bible and gardening.  He was an avid golfer.  Anyone who knew John knew how much he enjoyed coaching football and baseball and the relationships he built with youth in his community. 

Survivors include his wife, of 65 years, Freda Gray; five children, Denise and Kenny Nickels, DeAnne McDaniel, John R. Gray, Jr. and Ana, Mike and Josie Gray and Chris and Pam Gray; son-in-law, Jerry Russell; two sisters, Hilda Rafferty and Jo Taylor; one brother, Bill Gray; 17 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. 

John was preceded in death by his parents, Austin and Freecie, daughter, Debbie Russell, grandson, Kevin Russell and eight siblings. 

A funeral service under the direction of the Crafton-Cantrell Funeral Home in Aurora, will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at the United Methodist Church, 1211 S. Carnation, Aurora, Missouri.  Burial will follow at the Maple Park Cemetery in Aurora.  Visitation will be held from10:00-11:00 a.m. at the church.

Online condolences may be shared at this website.



10:00-11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at the

United Methodist Church of Aurora, Missouri

  Funeral Service

11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at the

United Methodist Church of Aurora, Missouri


Following Service at the

Maple Park Cemetery, Aurora, MO

Online Condolences


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John Powers

Always enjoyed visiting with John a Aurora baseball games when Josh and Chad were playing. Could easily tell he was a loving and caring grandpa.

 Posted June 22, 2017 - 9:15am
Steve and Frances Szablewski

Our prayers are with the Gray family during this time of sorrow.

 Posted June 22, 2017 - 8:31am

My deepest condolences to the Gray family for the loss of John. My family felt like John was family and I'm sure he said we were like his Texas family when he visited "back in the day". He was truly a loving, kind and generous man who will missed by many. Blessings to Freda and all the family.
Rosanne Spellings Bumgarner and the Spellings family, Jefferson, Texas.

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 6:17pm
Butch and Gynette DeLoach

Chris and Gray Family you are in our thoughts and prayers.

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 1:46pm
Ronnie and Terri Rahn

Chris and Pam, so saddened to hear of your loss. We are praying for peace and comfort for your family.

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 1:13pm
Phillip McIlrath

Mike and Josie, sorry to hear of your loss of your father. It was definitely heaven's gain. Our prayers are with you and your family as you celebrate the life of a person who had great impact on those around him. There is assurance in knowing you will again be able to see him again in heaven. May you feel His peace and comfort during this time.
Phillip and Seeney McIlrath

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 11:55am
Sonny & Debby Bignault

We are so very sorry for y'alls loss. May God be with you all during this time.

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 9:48am
Mike and Mary Fly

Dear Chris and Pam, I am so sorry you have lost your wonderful father. He sounded like a good Daddy and a great man. I'm sure you will miss him so much. What a wonderful homecoming he will have with his Father on Father's Day! We are ll praying for you and your family.

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 9:46am
Ralph lauffer

Prayers are with this family. Great friend in houn dawg booster club when we first moved back to aurora.Will surely be missed by many. Rest in peace MR GRAY.

 Posted June 19, 2017 - 10:50pm
Jeremy Williams

Dear Mike and Family ~

Our deepest sympathies are with you and you all. May the precious memories that you have with your father help to get you through this difficult time. We are sending you all our thoughts and prayers.

Jeremy Williams & Family

 Posted June 19, 2017 - 9:55pm

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