James Allen Gray, 66, of Montgomery, died unexpectedly June 20th at a local hospital.
Born May 21, 1946 in Chicago, IL, Jim married his high school sweetheart, Judy Lynn Mathews, on October 8, 1966.
A 1964 graduate of McClain High School in Tulsa, OK, Jim attended The University of Oklahoma. After college, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he was stationed in Oxnard, CA for 2 years before returning to Tulsa. Upon completion of his Navy service, he worked for the US Jaycees before accepting a position as Vice President of the Missouri Association of Realtors. He moved to Alabama as Executive Director of the Alabama Road Builders Association, where he worked for 20 years.
In 1998 he accepted a position as Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Business Council of Alabama, where he later served as interim President before leaving to join the Governmental Affairs team for SouthTrust Bank, which later became Wachovia Bank. In 2006 he left Wachovia to start his own Governmental/Public Affairs consulting firm.
Jim is survived by: his wife, Judy Lynn Matthews Gray; a son, Phillip S. Gray; a daughter, Jennifer L. Gray; a grandson, Grayson Dabbs; a sister, Joanna Croll (Terry); and his beloved companion, Tucker Allen. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Purcell and Margaret Ann Carr Purcell.
Jim Gray loved his family deeply. He loved his friends. He often said “I love you” to those he cared about. Jim loved to laugh and that laugh was contagious. He also loved a good practical joke. He loved playing golf on the weekends with his regular group, and was an avid Oklahoma Sooners football fan. He loved attending karate tournaments to watch his grandson compete. Jim loved his two dachshunds, Tucker Allen and the late Mollie Elizabeth.
He was old school – about his music, his manners and his loyalty. Jim gave loyalty and in turn inspired loyalty in others. He loved politics, hunting and the people he worked with. He had many friends and was surrounded by love and laughter all of his life. He will be dearly missed by those who knew him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Heart Association.