Donald W. Gray

Donald W. Gray

Donald William Gray, age 88, of Cedar Falls, IA, died Sunday, August 20, 2017, at Lakeview Landing in Waterloo, IA.
He was born November 15, 1928 in Elk River, MN, the oldest son of eleven children of Glen M. Gray and Helen Beck Gray. He graduated from Elk River High School in 1946 and from Asbury College in Kentucky in 1950. He then enrolled in the seminary at Emory University in Atlanta and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. He was a Methodist minister serving in small towns in Minnesota. He resigned from the ministry and enrolled in the University of Minnesota’s Library Science program. He was appointed Director of the library when the University of Minnesota established a branch of the University in Morris, Minnesota. He accepted a position as Assistant Director of the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Library in 1967, retiring in 1990. He worked part time for the UNI Foundation during the fund drive for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.
He married Vivian Blasjo in Barnum, MN in 1953. They were later divorced. He married Barbara Porter in Waterloo, IA in 1985.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Cedar Falls, IA; a son, Kelly (Marcela) of Kensington, MD; two daughters, Joni (Johann) Gray of Minneapolis, MN and Karen Beal (James) of Des Moines, IA; three step-children, William Porter (DeAnn) of Lansing, MI, Marsha Porter of St. Paul, MN and Diane Porter of West Fargo, ND; eight grandchildren, Brad, Ben, Anne, Will, Jane, Ellie, John and Frankie; eight great-grand children, Belle, Zeke, Kirsten, June, Avery, Sawyer, Caitlin, and Evelyn; four brothers, George, David, Lloyd and Mark; two sisters, Eleanor and Harriet.
He was preceded in death by an infant daughter; two brothers, Stan and Robert; two sisters, Ruth and Crystal.
Don was an avid reader of history, biography, fiction, and non-fiction. But best of all, he loved reading to grandchildren piled three-deep on his lap. He was also an avid bicyclist and did challenging rides such as Ironman in Minnesota and RAGBRAI several times. He spent many hours doing 20-mile rides on trails and blacktop roads nearby. He kept a record of every ride in notebooks. He loved classical music, John Phillip Sousa marches, cheeseburgers, and Minnesota hot dish liberally sprinkled with Tabasco sauce.
Private graveside services were held at Orono Cemetery in Elk River, MN. Memorials may be directed to UNI Foundation or Cedar Valley Hospice. Condolences may be left at www.DahlFuneralHome.com.

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