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William Harold Gray
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Birth: Oct. 3, 1897
Bartlett
Bell County
Texas, USA
Death: Jan. 30, 1954
Tucson
Pima County
Arizona, USA

Harold (he went by his middle name) was an exceptional student. He graduated from high school at 14 because his teachers "had nothing left to teach him". He spoke five languages: English, Spanish, French, Latin, and German. He was a concert pianist. When he graduated from high school and was too young to go to college, his parents sent this energetic young man to military school. There he got into a lot of trouble and took up smoking and drinking. When World War I broke out, he was drafted, but exempted from service because he had flat feet and couldn't keep up with the marches. HIs drill sargeant asked him if he was marching or crawling.
He married Inez Springfield, also from Thornton, April 20, 1917. He was 20; she was 17. Their three children came right away. R.S. was born 1918, Jean was born 1919, and Joe was born 1922. The first 12 years of their marriage were very good. Harold was a cotton buyer and often made $100 a day. They lived in a big house, Inez had domestic help, and the children were involved in piano, violin, saxaphone with dance (ballet and tap) lessons for Jean. When the depression hit, Harold had a series of jobs: playing piano (mood and action music) during the silent films, writing a music critic column called "William Tells", and writing freelance. In 1933 his father died. His father had been his mentor - his ideal. At that time Harold slid into a strong depression and began drinking. At first he managed to do his jobs and still drink, but it rapidly slid out of control.
By the end of the 30's he was a full-blown alcoholic. His family moved from the original house, to a smaller one, to a yet smaller one. He became hard to handle, and Inez finally divorced him - not because she did not love him but out of self-preservation and protection of the children. She would keep her address secret, because she was working as a seamstress, and whatever money she could make, he would try to steal to support his drinking habit.
When World War II hit, Harold was drafted again. This time they didn't care if he had flat feet. They wanted him for his language skills. So even though he was in his 40's, this broken-down alcoholic went to work for his country. Actually, this was a good thing because it gave him a sense of purpose and a reason to focus his mind. Military service would have been a great thing except that in the marshes he developed tuberculosis.
When he came home, he and Inez reconciled and for awhile he lived in Dallas. Eventually he was sent to a sanitarium in Tuscon. He died there in 1954. His wife (back in Dallas)reported that during the night she woke up hearing him cry out "Inez!". She knew he had died before the authorities told her.
His body was brought back to Dallas and he was buried in Laurel Land Cemetery, Dallas, Texas.

Children: Reuben Springfield Gray, Jean Gray, and Joe Harold Gray.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Reuben Ewing Gray (1863 - 1933)
  Lucinda Westmoreland Gray (1864 - 1947)
 
 Spouse:
  Elva Inez Springfield Gray (1899 - 1980)
 
 Children:
  Reuben Springfield Gray (1918 - 1994)*
  Jean Gray Drake (1919 - 2013)*
  Joe Harold Gray (1922 - 2004)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Laurel Land Memorial Park
Dallas
Dallas County
Texas, USA
Plot: section 49, lot 194, space 3
 
Created by: Dianne Boren
Record added: Sep 04, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58179833
William Harold Gray
Added by: TLH
 
William Harold Gray
Added by: TLH
 
William Harold Gray
Added by: Dianne Boren
 
 
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Father of chapter member, Jean Gray Drake
- Martha Reid 19 UDC
 Added: Jul. 18, 2012
Grandfather of chapter member, Dianne Drake Boren
- Martha Reid 19 UDC
 Added: May. 25, 2012
Thank you for your service to our country during World War II.
- Judy Richards
 Added: Mar. 29, 2012
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