Gray, Edward E.

September 4, 1918 - September 27, 2020

Edward E. Gray passed away September 27, 2020 at the age of 102. He was born on September 4, 1918 in Peoria, Illinois to parents Esther and Authur Gray. Upon graduation, he was employed by R.G. Letourneau before enlisting in the Army Air Corps in 1941. Ed went on to serve in the Pacific Theater as a Fighter Pilot of P-47 and P-38’s in the 19th Fighter Squadron of the 318th Fighter Group. Ed won the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism and extraordinary achievement in combat and several air medals with Oak Leaf Cluster. Upon return from the war, he moved to Longview, Texas. Ed started a Fighter Pilot reunion in 1976 that continued for almost 30 years in various cities around the country. He was very active with the Longview Jaycees, Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, and past president of the Pinecrest Country Club. Late in life, while in Dallas, he stayed active attending air shows and participating in commemorative events for Veterans, playing golf, fishing, and spending valuable time with family and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers: Guy, Bill, and Gerry; sister: Doris; wife, Betty of 31 years, who died in 1972; wife, Mary of 37 years, who died in 2016; and stepson, Bill Mason.

He is survived by; Jan (Don) Vanderpool; Bob Mason; Ken Mason; Debbie (Gary) Gilmore; 7 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews whom he remained close to his entire life. Eddie brought light, happiness, optimism, and inspiration to each person that he met. He was an incredible role model to all of us and will be greatly missed. We thank God for sharing this amazing man with us.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Juliette Fowler Communities where he lived happily for the past 10 years.

The family intends to host a Celebration to honor Ed’s extraordinary life in the months following the end of the current pandemic.

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