January 16, 1928 - March 3, 2020



Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2020 at St. Marcus Catholic Church in Clear Lake for Howard B. Gray, 92 of Clear Lake, who passed away on Tuesday at the St. Cloud Hospital. Rev. Joseph Backowski will officiate and burial will be at the parish cemetery with full military honors. Friends and relatives may visit after 9:00 a.m. at the church in Clear Lake on Saturday morning.

Howard Benjamin Gray was born on January 16, 1928 in Anoka to Neil and Blanche (Hartkopf) Gray. He farmed with his family since his childhood. On June 11, 1952 he married Oreta Schmidt at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Hamel. Howard served his country in the United States Army from 1952-1954, during the Korean War. He was a member of St. Marcus Catholic Church in Clear Lake, the parish council, was a church trustee and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Howard was also a member of the East Central Fire Chiefs Mutual Aide Association, he served on the Clear Lake Fire Department and as Fire Chief for over 22 years and was a charter member of the Clear Lake Lions Club where he received the Melvin Jones Award. He worked as a farmer all of his life and also drove school bus for a number of years. Howard played baseball in his youth, was an avid bowler in his earlier years, and loved playing cards. In his later years, he enjoyed a good round of golf. When age prevented that, a weekly trip (or two or three) to the casino with Reta was always in order. He was a lifelong fan of the Minnesota Gophers, Vikings and Twins. Howard was truly the salt of the earth. His family, faith, friends and community were very important to him.

Survivors include his daughters and sons, Barb (Mike) Hemmelgarn of St. Cloud, Kathy (Gene) Vanselow of Waite Park, Janet Gray of Edina, Paul (Kathy) Gray of Clear Lake and Gary (Ann) Gray of Clear Lake; sister, Evelyn Kinghorn of Osseo; ten grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Oreta on October 6, 2017 and brother, Wesley.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the entire staff of Country Manor Healthcare Center and everyone at the Waterford for the excellent care, generosity and compassion that was shown to Howard in the past few years.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Country Manor Foundation.