Walter (Woody) Edwin Gray

Born March 23, 1922 in Toronto, Ont., Woody was the fourth and last child of the late Eva and Walter Gray.
Raised in Toronto, Woody left in 1943 to join the Navy. For the next four year he worked as a Leading Stoker on the Destroyer HMCS Niagara, and Minesweeper HMCS Caraquet.
On returning from war, Woody started with Ontario Hydro on construction. This turned out to be a good union as he spent the next 35 years working there as a construction supervisor, lineman and first aider, in the Northwestern Ontario Region.
He married the former Florence Rose Popowich in 1952 and after several moves decided to settle in Fort Frances in 1963. “This is where I really love.”
Woody’s passions were many–gardening, golf, fishing, travelling, cards, dancing, teaching First Aid for St. John’s Ambulance, and volunteering. He was awarded the Order of St. John’s, by Gov. Gen Jeanne Sauvé for his significant contribution to the humanitarian services that he performed on behalf of St. John’s.
With is wife by his side they were honoured in 1991 as Fort Frances’ volunteers of the year. They are, to date, the only couple to hold this award together.
During the last five years of his life, Woody valiantly battled cancer and then ALS (Lou Gherig’s Disease). His positive attitude toward his illnesses made it easy for those to be with him.
Florence was the love of his life, and on Aug. 11, they were to celebrate 50 years of being together. He also loved his other girls–daughters, Georgine (Eric), Susan (John), and Bonnie (Terry).
He was predeceased in 1957 by his daughter, Patricia Lynn.
He was much loved and was proud of his grandchildren, Holly (Bonnie); Erika, Shannon and Cyndy (Georgine); and Curtis and Scott (Susan).
He also considered himself lucky to have the love and support of Jim and Lori Pochailo. The family would like to thank both of these special people for being there when they could not.
The memorial service will be held at St. John’s Anglican Church at 11 a.m Friday, Aug. 2, 2002. Luncheon to follow at The Royal Canadian Legion.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John’s Anglican Church Elevator Fund. As Woody’s disease progressed, his need for wheelchair access made it imperative for him to continue those activities he loved.