In Loving Memory
James E. Gray
4/14/2015, 2:37 p.m.
James E. Gray was born on July 12,1938 to Lilly Jones and Herman Gray in Hinds County, Mississippi. He passed away on April 1.
At the age of 19 his childhood friend Obrey convinced him that Oregon was the place to go for jobs. James joined his friend in starting a new life in the West. James completed an AA in Civil Engineering and an AA in Criminal Justice at PCC. Obrey and James stayed close friends across the years holding “office hours” at the Starbucks on Fremont.
When James first applied for a job as an Oregon State Trooper, the supervisor took his application, crumpled it and tossed it in the trash can while saying, “This isn’t going to happen.” James muttered, “We’ll see.” James Gray became one of the first African American State Troopers in Oregon.
Later in his career, he worked at Tri-Met, the Coliseum, and Mount Hood Community College as a police officer in security. Jim retired in 2002 after finishing his career as a federal officer providing court security.
James loved to raise, train, and ride horses. He was a good cook and could make a good sweet potato pie. He was a sweet, kind man who was often very generous. One of his neighbors said, “Everyone loved Jim.”
He studied and practiced Buddhism for many years before he turned his attention to studying the works of Joel Goldsmith. In the last eight years of his life he turned his attention to meditation and spiritual healing. His years got increasingly quiet and focused as his commitment deepened to the Practice of the Presence.
James Gray was a warm, private man with a rich laugh and many friends and family members.
He was one of eight siblings with only his sister Jo Anne Travis surviving him in West Palm Beach, Florida.
James leaves behind a wife, Maribel Gray; three daughters: Deidre Gray, Tonya Gray and Karin Wiliams; a son, Lance Warren; his adopted daughter Dinah Warren; twelve grandchildren: Ariannia; Labrye; DeAndre; Dashante; Aaliyah; Shatoya; Tyree; Shae’Lynn; Cedric; Arthur; DeAnjernell (DJ); Mercedes; adopted granddaughter, Victoria. three great grandchildren: Godyss, Vaylen, and Onaya; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, nephews, as well as many close friends and neighbors.
He will be greatly missed but will always be with us.