Chester Gray (aged 87) went home to be with our Lord and Savior on September 17, 2022, after a prolonged illness. He was 87 years old. Chester, known as Chet or “Grandpa” to many, was born on October 7, 1934 to Julia (Ward) Gray and Adolph Gray in East Palestine, Ohio. He was the 10th out of 14 Gray children.
He was a 1952 graduate of Allliance High School, where he met his loving wife of 66 years, Johnnie Gray. Chester served in the United States Air Force and was a Korean War veteran. Chester was a business owner in Harlem New York for many years. He was a believer in social justice and development of youth and was involved in the Urban League along with several other community organizations in the 60s and 70s. As an Elder at Elmendorf Reformed Church in East Harlem, he was a youth counselor and retained contact with many of those youth over the years.
A lifelong New York Jets and Mets fan, Grandpa Chet loved to read history books, golf, fish, travel, and play cards (although he would change the rules). Gruff of voice but kind in nature, Chester was passionate about helping others and his advice and wisdom were often sought by others. The phrase “would give you the shirt off his back” was made for him. He laughed often and retained his sense of humor until the end.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Adolph and Julia Gray; brothers Thomas, Samuel, Lloyd, Jessie, Artil, Rome, Harold, and Glenn; sisters Henrietta ,Eloise, and Daneen. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Johnnie Gray, brother Dollie Gray, sister Donna Jean Gray Flynn; children Deborah Gray Robinson (MacArthur) and Mary Jo Gray, Steven Jenkins (Sydette), and Barry Jenkins; grandchildren Kevin Robinson, Kimberly Robinson, Gregory (Angela) Robinson, David Robinson, Melissa Chime, Kay Chime, and Samantha Chime; great grandchildren Kayla Robinson, Carmelo Robinson, Siena Robinson, and Viviana Robinson and many nieces and nephews, and countless friends. He was a good man and father. He will be missed by many.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who wish to do so may honor his memory by donating to Peace Neighborhood Center: https://peaceneighborhoodcenter.org/donate/