James Gray


James H. Gray, 73, of Payson, died June 30, 2000, at his home.

The first of two children, he was born to Joseph and Erma Gray June 12, 1927, in Buffalo, N.Y., and spent his early years in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Jamestown, N.Y. He volunteered for the U.S. Army at age 17, serving in Europe from 1944 to 1946 and stateside until 1951.

He was an alumnus of Kenyon College and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in physics. He was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

Mr. Gray and his wife, Peggy, raised their two children in Painted Post, N.Y. where he was employed by the Corning Glass Works as a manufacturing engineer and patent agent from 1951 until 1975. In 1976 they relocated to Peterborough, N.H. where he launched a second career as a magazine editor and advertising manager. In 1987. the Grays moved to Payson, where Jim continued working from home. After retirement, he was active in several local organizations, including the Library Friends of Payson. He was president of that organization for five years.

Mr. Gray is remembered by friends and readers worldwide for his prolife literary contributions to such magazines as Ham Radio, Popular Communications, 73, CQ, Model Airplane News, and Soaring. He published his own internationally distributed magazine, RC Soaring Digest, from 1984 to 1990, and continued writing professionally until his death.

His hobbies included flying, sailing, archery, photography, and radio control modeling. His longest association was with "ham" radio. Known as W2EUQ, and later as WIXU, he maintained an amateur radio station for more than 50 years, often using his skills as an operator to assist individuals and his community in times of crisis.

He also had a lifelong passion for aviation and was an active pilot for 45 years. Mr. Gray belonged to the Soaring Society of America, was vice president of the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation in Elmira, N.Y. and was a founding member of The American Air Museum in Britain. He also received several awards for his achievements as a glider pilot.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret "Peggy" Gray, of Payson; one daughter, Linda C. Gray of Phoenix; son, one James H. Gray II of Juneau, Alaska; and one sister Alice J. Gray of South Yarmouth, Mass.

An open house remembrance will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 8 at his home, 210 E. Chateau Circle.

Burial will be at Rural Cemetery, Hornell, N.Y.

Donations may be made to The Family Habitat Garden Project, 7334 N. 16th Place, Phoenix, AZ 85020, The Library Friends of Payson, P.O. Box 13, Payson, AZ 85547, or Rim Country Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 305, Payson, AZ 85547.

Arrangements were handled by Messinger Payson Funeral Home.

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