Our beloved husband, father, brother, and friend Deacon Forrest Edward Gray passed away at home Jan. 10 surrounded by his family in Bountiful, Utah, after a brief illness. In your kindness, please pray for him.
Forrest was born in Stockton, Calif., on July 16, 1933. After graduating from Castlemont High School in Oakland, Calif., in 1951 he enlisted in the United States Air Force serving as a meteorologist. In 1963 he married the love of his life Maria-Cruz F. Gray while stationed outside Madrid, Spain, and together they raised their family while he continued to serve his country in the Air Force and later in the civil service. He achieved the rank of Chief Master Sergeant well before retiring and continued working as a meteorologist in the National Weather Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ultimately settling in Bountiful, Utah, and retiring in 1996. He was a longtime member of the American Meteorological Society.
Forrest was a proper and quiet man without any enemies, a wonderful father and husband. He converted to Roman Catholicism while stationed in Japan during the Korean War. He was a member of the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus, Marriage Encounter, the Cursillo, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. In 2004 he was ordained a Deacon at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. He served the Diocese of Salt Lake City in Saints Peter and Paul Parish in West Valley City, in the rural Utah missions, and also as the Director of the Office of Deacons for the Diocese.
Always innovative, he loved to build and fly model airplanes, to fish, and to work in the orchard and around the house. A scientist with an engineering mind, always thinking of ways to increase efficiency, he personally designed compact weather stations professionally and carried on in his later life by installing a solar energy array on his roof well into his 80s. He remains for his loved ones a model of industriousness and fidelity, a moving witness of the virtues of a peacemaker.
He is preceded in death by his parents Virgil and Blanche Gray, and many beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. He is survived by his wife Mariacruz of 56 years, his children Jane of Centerville, Edward (Shaunna) of Gainesville, Va., and Fr. Christopher of Park City, sister Janet of Alameda, Calif., brother Donald of Reno, Nev., brother-in-law Julio Pedro Fernández (María Dolores) of Madrid, Spain, aunt Kathleen Gandee of Nampa, Idaho, grandchildren Kyra and Milo, and many friends, relatives, ahijados, y compadres.
A vigil will take place Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 pm at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City. The funeral will also be at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, Thursday, Jan. 16 at noon, followed by interment at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery. There will be no reception; in honor of Deacon Forrest the Gray family will feed the day workers (jornaleros). In lieu of flowers, please support the Good Samaritan Program. Requiescat in pace.