Obituary Listings

Harold A. Gray

September 30, 1924 January 26, 2020
Harold A.  Gray
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Obituary for Harold A. Gray

Harold Archibald Gray, age 95, passed away peacefully on January 26, 2020 at Wellspring Meadows Assisted Living Center in Hayden, ID.

Beloved
Harold (Harry) charmed many a room with his bright blue eyes. Born on September 30, 1924 in Cougar Gulch, Coeur d’Alene, ID, Harry was strong, gentle, kind and sometimes stubborn! His sense of humor caused belly laughs. Known as the “Paul Bunyan” of the woods in the Priest Lake area, much of his career he spent logging. A choke setter with mountain goat legs, he scrambled up and down steep hillsides. For many years, he drove a 1965 white Jeep, nicknamed the “Roadrunner” and winched friends, neighbors and strangers out of ditches. He always was available to help friends, family and neighbors clear snow out of driveways, hand dig water wells, dress a deer or even construct buildings.

Harry was the 9th born out of 13 siblings to William Logan and Bertha Druzilla Gray. His siblings included three sets of twins and there were 24 years between the first and last born children. The Gray family moved to Rathdrum, ID in the mid-30’s.

Strong
Harry was an All-State basketball player at Rathdrum High School. He was also an excellent baseball player and all-around athlete. He graduated from high school in 1942.

Although he was eligible for a military deferment (for logging with his dad), he enlisted in the US Navy in 1943. After finishing basic training at Farragut, Idaho, Harry was sent by train to be deployed from Florida.

He was proud of his Navy service where he served in the Pacific theatre, mostly aboard two US Navy class attack transports, the USS Baxter (APA-94) and the USS Sherburne (APA-205). As coxswain, he was captain of the landing craft. When transporting troops to the beaches, i.e. Manila, he was the only one with his head above the boat with bullets whizzing around him. Harry’s military records show him as an excellent coxswain, a leader who was reliable, conscientious and could always be depended upon – A man that most would go to war with. He easily learned semaphore and Morse Code.

Honorably discharged with several medals in 1946, he returned to Rathdrum. He planned on becoming a coach. He particularly liked football which wasn’t played in high school until the year following his high school graduation.

Harry had stayed in touch with Jeanne Fowler, also of Rathdrum, during his Navy days. Three years ahead of her in school, they married in Seattle on January 18, 1947 and began a family. Dennis (1947) and Beverlee (1950) were born while in Rathdrum. Harry and Jeanne then moved to the Priest Lake area, initially living in a logging camp, then a couple of small places in Coolin, ID. Ken was born in 1955. In 1956, they built their own house on Cavanaugh Bay Road with the help of Jeanne’s father, and they lived there for the next 62 years. Tim was born in 1962 and Wendy in 1967. Harry logged and Jeanne raised the five children and her half brother, Lance. Both Harry and Jeanne tended their immaculately landscaped home and picked and sold gallons of huckleberries every summer. In the mornings, they walked for miles while also picking up trash left by tourists. They were natural stewards of the land.

Harry taught his kids to fish, hunt, swim, play sports and respect their mother! Most springtime’s he had his sons lower him by bucket down into the depths of the hand-dug well with the intention of digging the well deeper. His goal was simple – increase the gallons per minute in order to keep the lawns green and Jeanne’s numerous plantings well-watered. Most years proved to be an exercise in futility but once he had made up his mind about something, he was a hard man to stop!

Talented
Harry had a variety of talents. His singing voice was beautiful and he could play any instrument by ear.
His handwriting was turn of the century. He created very realistic wood burning and pencil drawings of wildlife. He was a savant with numbers. Harry kept thorough statistics of football scores and the weather. The weather he recorded daily for over 50 years on calendars and in notebooks. He did the same with his logging stats.

Harry and Jeanne left Coolin in 2013 and returned to Rathdrum. They did not want to leave Priest Lake but they also did not want to be a burden to their children by continuing to live in a remote area during the winter months. Harry was still roof raking and snow blowing (to perfection) his circular driveway at 89 years’ of age!

Harry and Jeanne were married for 72+ years and were each other’s best friends and life-long loves. Their bond remained strong and solid that entire time. They both delighted in their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Harry was preceded in death by his beloved bride, Jeanne, in October, 2019. He is survived by his children: Dennis (Julie), Beverlee (Russ), Ken, Tim (Heather), and Wendy (Keith) as well as 9 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and more on the way! Harry will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all.

Harry and Jeanne’s family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Kurt Neely and the staff at Wellspring Meadows Assisted Living as well as to Auburn Crest Hospice. Harry and Jeanne both received excellent care and love during the time they resided there.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the VFW.

To plant a tree in memory of Harry, please visit the Tribute Store.

Harry’s funeral will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at Yates Funeral Home, 744 N. 4th St., Coeur d’Alene, ID. Interment with military honors will follow at Riverview Cemetery (through Forest Cemetery), 1065 North Lincoln Way, Coeur d’Alene. There will then be a catered reception at Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn.


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Harold A. Gray, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Funeral Service

Saturday

15

Feb

10:30 AM 2/15/2020 10:30:00 AM - 11:30 AM 2/15/2020 11:30:00 AM
Yates Funeral Homes & Cremation - Coeur d'Alene Chapel

744 N 4th Street
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Yates Funeral Homes & Cremation - Coeur d'Alene Chapel
744 N 4th Street Coeur d'Alene 83814 ID
United States

Graveside

Saturday

15

Feb

12:00 PM 2/15/2020 12:00:00 PM - 12:30 PM 2/15/2020 12:30:00 PM
Riverview Cemetery

1065 N. Lincoln Way
Coeur d' Alene, ID 83814

With Military Honors in Memory of Harold

Riverview Cemetery
1065 N. Lincoln Way Coeur d' Alene 83814 ID
United States

Reception

Saturday

15

Feb

1:00 PM 2/15/2020 1:00:00 PM - 4:00 AM 2/15/2020 4:00:00 AM
Best Western Plus

506 W. Appleway
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Best Western Plus
506 W. Appleway Coeur d'Alene 83814 ID
United States
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