Cover photo for Paul Gray's Obituary
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1937 Paul 2021

Paul Gray

January 28, 1937 — January 13, 2021


Paul Emery Gray, 83, a longtime resident of Nowata, Oklahoma passed away on January 13, 2021, with his family by his side. Paul was born on January 28, 1937, to James Francis Gray and Fannie Ellen (Mixer) Gray at Pike County, Illinois, close to Louisiana, Missouri. He attended school at Balis, Illinois. Paul grew up on a farm with a large family of six sisters and four brothers. Paul’s dad was a minister and operated a sawmill, where he lost a leg, so Paul quit school to help with the family. His dad finally sold the farm and moved to Oklahoma to pastor a church. Paul lived with his brother for a while and finally moved to Oklahoma in 1956. In 1959, he started dating the love of his life, Alta Ruth Merrell. They were married on January 8, 1960. To this union were born two daughters, Pamela Sue Gray and Deborah Ruth Gray. He was a hard-working person and one of the best husbands and father one could have. He became a meat cutter by learning from an uncle and did that for several years. Paul also worked in the oil fields, drove trucks for Zebco and Bellco, worked for the Glass Estate, and even worked for Benjamin Funeral Service, which he never liked those suits and ties. He later retired from working at Nowata County at the age of 79. Paul never like sitting inside the house so he would go outside to take care of the yard and his home. Paul was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone and could fix anything you put in front of him mostly by using bailing wire. He loved taking his family camping and even took his wife to Alaska. Paul loved God and was a member of the Happy Hill Church of God and worked hard keeping the church up. I am sure if the angels need help fixing those golden steps and he will be right there to help. He loved his family and will be missed by all.

Paul is survived by his wife; Alta, two daughters; Pamela and Deborah, one granddaughter; Samantha Leah (Gray) Bailey and husband Mike, two great-granddaughters; Emily Rose Gray and Hannah Emeriee Gray, one brother in-law; Johnny Berry, and several nieces and nephews.

He was proceeded in death by his parents; James and Fannie Gray, his stepmother; Lily Gray, three half-brothers; William Beryl and Russell Gray, four half-sisters; Ima Womble, Mildred Sims, Alta Belle Barton, and Ruth Collins, one brother; Carl Von Gray, two sisters; Dora Jackson and Anna Mae Berry, as well as three infant brothers; James Andrew, Jimmie Jr, and Johnnie Dwight.

Services are under the direction of Benjamin Funeral Services online condolences can be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul Gray, please visit our flower store.


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