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Doyle Chester Gray of Vichy, Missouri passed away Sunday, August 6, 2023 at the St. James Living Center in St. James, Missouri. He was 87 years of age.
Doyle, the son of the late Perry and Oma Daniels Gray, was born August 29, 1935 in Coil Holler near Vichy, Missouri. He was united in marriage to LeOra Welch on June 12, 1954 in High Gate, Missouri. They were married 60 years.
Doyle is survived by his children: Donna Ray (Mark Rolufs) of St. James, Missouri; Doris Gray of Vichy, Missouri; David Gray (Brenda Braidlow) of St. James, Missouri; Dianne Adams (Brian) of St. James, Missouri, and Dena Coleman (Billy) of Steelville, Missouri; five grandchildren: David Michael Gray (Danee), DeAnn Stringer, Daniel Gray (Natalie), Morgan Adams, and Miranda Nowlin (Justin); and five great-grandchildren: Mia Gray, Lia Gray, Silas Gray, Ava Stringer, and Aubrey Nowlin.
Doyle is preceded in death by his wife, LeOra; sisters: Ruby Lucille Wilson, Della Mae Hill, Emma Irene Hancock, Ida Christine Wagner and three infant sisters; and brothers: James Edward Gray, Paul Gray, and Donald Eugene Gray.
Doyle was a respected farmer all of his life; he farmed in the Vichy community for over 70 years. He began farming on his current farm in 1961. In the 1970s, he bought an additional 106 acres of the former Oscar Southard place. He purchased an additional 160 acres to increase his operation. He raised cattle, operated a hog operation, and row cropped. He loved horses, and he enjoyed riding his horses to work his cattle, riding in the trail rides across the area, and team penning across the state of Missouri. During the many years of working cattle, putting up hay, and operating machinery, he had his wife, LeOra, and five kids working along side him.
Doyle started his farming career early in life. When he was in the 8th grade, his father was killed while driving a team of horses with a load of lumber. Doyle left school to work on the farm for his family. His family farmed the land which later became the Vichy Airport; their family was one of the families that the government moved off the land so the airport could be built. Doyle’s career also included other jobs besides farming. He worked at Brown Shoe Factory, cleared lines for Rural Electric Association, carried mail, drove a school bus, and worked at a lumber yard.
Doyle enjoyed visiting with friends and family; his stories and laughter will be remembered for years. Whether it was a friend’s story or one of his many stories, his laughter encompassed his whole body pulling everyone listening into his laughter. He may not always have time for a long conversation, but he always greeted one with a smile and a few words. He was always willing to help anyone in need. He attended Broadway Baptist Church for many years; he taught Sunday School and Training Union classes. He was a 50 year member of the Lane’s Prairie Free Mason Lodge #531 in Vichy, Missouri.
Visitation will be 4:00-8:00 PM Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri. Masonic Service will be held 7:00 Pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at Jones Funeral Home; it will be conducted by his home lodge, Lane’s Prairie Free Mason Lodge #531 from Vichy, Missouri.
Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Wednesday, August 9, 2023 at Broadway Baptist Church with Mike Bonham officiating. Pallbearers will be Michael Gray, Daniel Gray, DeAnn Stringer, Morgan Adams, Miranda Nowlin, and Chris Boots. Honorary pallbearers will be Velmer Hancock, Larry Lorts, Justin Satterfield, and Ronnie Gray. Burial will be in the Broadway Memorial Cemetery in St. James, Missouri.
Memorials may be given to the Broadway Memorial Cemetery.
Online condolences may be entered at jonesfunerals.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Jones Funeral Home in St. James, Missouri.
Broadway Memorial Cemetery
16651 MCR 439, St. James MO 65559
Broadway Memorial Cemetery % of Gary John