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, was held 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 was held at the church.

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