Arthur “Duane” Gray of St. James passed away Monday, September 7, 2020 at his home. He was 70 years of age.
Arthur Duane, the son of the late Arthur Ausburn “Lefty” and Marjorie Janiece McGath Gray, was born August 6, 1950 in Waynesville, MO. He was united in marriage to Deborah Louise Wallace on December 20, 1969 at the First Assembly of God Church in St. James, MO.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah of St. James; two sons: Anthony “Tony” Duane Gray and wife, Erin of St. James, MO and Christopher Heath Gray and wife, Angie of Sedalia, MO; nine grandchildren: Todd, Dillon, Chandler, Lauren, Rebekah, Bailey, Addison, Chloe, and Elliot; two brothers: Steve Gray and wife, Linda of St. James, MO and Mark Gray and wife, Roxana of St. James, MO along with a host of nieces and nephews, as well as many other family members and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lefty and Marjorie Gray and sister, Lauretta Adams.
Duane grew up in Cuba where his father managed Dr. Mosby’s 1000 acre farm. He attended two one room schools, Vine Hill and Pleasant Ridge. In his 4th grade year, he was one of the first to attend the Cuba Elementary. Duane’s fondest childhood memory is one of growing up on the farm and riding his favorite horse, “Huckleberry” which was an Appaloosa stallion. He graduated from Cuba High School in 1968. While in high school, Duane enjoyed attending the weekly youth group meetings at the First Assembly of God Church in St. James where he met, Deborah. He said, “She chased me ‘til she caught me.’” During Christmas break on December 20, 1969, he and Deborah were married at the First Assembly of God in St. James. Their marriage was blessed with Tony and Chris and nine wonderful grandchildren who lovingly call him “PawPaw.”
In 1970, he attended United Electronics Institute in Louisville, Kentucky and became an electronics technician. He was offered a job at Schwitzer before he completed his schooling for electronics technician; he was employed with this company for 22 years as a press operator and a receiving lay-out inspector. He drove a school bus for Rolla Public Schools for the next 10 years which inspired a collection of “Hot Wheels” school buses. However, it has become too large to even display any longer. In 2002, he joined the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department as a transport jailer later to become a transport deputy. In 2005, along with his job at the Sheriff’s Department, he began working for Phelps County Regional Medical Center as a public safety officer.
Duane has been a faithful member of the First Assembly of God Church for over 50 years where he worked in children’s ministry along with his wife Deborah, bus ministry, the sound booth, church security, greeting, and a host of other positions in the church. His faith in God was very important to him.
Duane leaves a legacy of honesty, loyalty, and integrity for his family and friends to remember and to emulate. His two favorite mottos: “Firm, fair, consistent, mean what you say, make sensible decisions and enforce the rules every time” and “Be honest, leave a legacy for being someone who is honest. If you lose your integrity, you lose everything.” These two mottos were evident in his life each day. All that knew Duane, and honestly anyone that he ever met, knew that he was best known for his “gift of gab.”
Visitation will be 5-8 PM Wednesday, September 9 at the First Assembly of God Church in St. James.
Funeral services will be 11AM Thursday, September 10 at the First Assembly of God Church in St. James with Rev. Mick Thrasher officiating. Pallbearers will be Todd Gray, Dillon Gray, Chandler Gray, Jake Gray, Matt Wick, and Josh Gray. Honorary pallbearers will be Steve Gray, Mark Gray, and Billy Nesbitt.
Memorials may be given to Club J Children’s Church - First Assembly of God Church.
All arrangements are under the direction of Jones Funeral Home in St. James, MO.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Arthur Duane Gray, please visit our floral store.
Club J Children's Church - First Assembly of God
300 North Outer Road, St. James MO 65559