October 2, 1941 - April 2, 2023


attachment-Neil Gray

Neil Gray, age 81 of Princeton, MN passed away on April 2, 2023, at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis. A Celebration of Neil’s Life will be on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at Williams Dingmann Funeral Home in Princeton at 6:00 PM with visitation from 4:00- 6:00 PM.

Neil was born October 2,1941 in Watertown, MN to Willie and Thelma (Hafsahl) Gray. He grew up on a farm in Buffalo, MN and moved to Princeton in his senior year of high school. He joined the National Guard in January of 1960, then served in the Navy from September 1961 to January 1966 where he was stationed at Quonset Pt. Rhode Island on the USS Lake Champlain Aircraft Carrier. Neil met Joan Hannaford in Boston, Massachusetts while rollerskating. They were married October 3, 1964 and have been married for over 58 years. Moving to Princeton, MN in 1970, Neil worked as a carpenter for Marvin George Builders for over 24 years.

Neil was a proud member of the Princeton Legion Post #216 for 47 years. He enjoyed sailing on Mille Lacs Lake, loved to assemble Ho Scale model trains, and sit by the railroad tracks taking pictures. He loved fishing, hunting, reading, bluegrass music, feeding the birds, and picking raspberries and strawberries while being followed by his cat, Bumble Bee. Neil enjoyed camping at the Wilderness of Minnesota campground, visiting with anyone who came across his path whether he knew them or not. He was quite a talker and had a quick wit about him, coming up with one-liners that would make everyone laugh. He was always willing and available to help anyone in need because of his kindness and many skills.

Neil is survived by his wife, Joan; son, Scott (Debra) Gray of Princeton; daughter, Wendy (Chris) Hemmelgarn of Elk River; five grandchildren, Jesse (Katie), Sadie, Jay (Lisa), Jolene (Brian) and Justen (Leezza); nine great-grandchildren, Nora, Owen, Julianna, Jorryn, Adelynn, Trevor, Gabe, Nolan and Olivia; brothers, Emmett of Canby Oregon, Garry (Sandy) of Princeton; many nieces and nephews.

Neil was preceded in death by his father, Willie; mother, Thelma; and sisters-in law, Ellen Gray and Beverly Russell.

He will be greatly missed by all.

More From AM 1240 WJON