William Gray, 84, veteran Carlyn Gray, 81, loan officer

July 27, 2006|By JACQUES KELLY | JACQUES KELLY,SUN REPORTER

William Francis Gray and Carlyn Daue Gray, Towson residents who had been married for nearly 60 years, died from illnesses within 36 hours of each other at different area nursing facilities, separated for the only time since their marriage in 1946.

Mr. Gray, 84, a retired credit officer, died of cancer Saturday evening at the Brightwood nursing home in Lutherville. Mrs. Gray, 81, who had been a First National Bank loan officer, died of kidney disease Monday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium.

"They never went anywhere without each other," said their niece, Janice Daue Walker.

Both were Baltimore natives.

Mr. Gray was raised in Waverly, attended the old St. Bernard's Parochial School and graduated in 1939 from Calvert Hall College High School, where he played ice hockey and baseball.

He enrolled at Washington College, but his studies were interrupted by Army service in World War II. A sergeant, he fought at Normandy - landing at Utah Beach on the invasion's second day - and in the Battle of the Bulge, Rhineland and Central Europe in a combat engineering unit.

After the war, he resumed his studies and earned a bachelor of science degree in political science from the college in Chestertown. He also married Carlyn Daue, who had been raised in the Clifton Park area.

She was a 1942 Eastern High School graduate who went to work at the old Western National Bank adjoining the Hippodrome Theater. After the bank merged with First National, she joined that organization and retired about 20 years ago.

"She rose within the bank and became one of its first female loan officers," said her niece.

They met through a college classmate of Mr. Gray, Norman Tarr, who was a Cecil Avenue neighbor of the bride and now is a retired physician.

"They fell in love right away and their courtship went quickly," Mrs. Walker said.

Mr. Gray became credit manager for Household Finance in downtown Baltimore, and later at Pacific Finance before joining Chrysler Credit Corp. as a sales representative. He retired in 1990.

He was a longtime baseball fan. He pitched in the old North Baltimore Amateur League for the Homestead and Brown Derby teams. He also was a pitcher and a coach in the old Baltimore Sandlot League. He was elected to the Oldtimers Baseball Association of Maryland's hall of fame.

"They were happily married for 60 years and loved to take a weekend at Chestertown and Ocean City, and enjoyed spending time with family and friends," their niece said. "They dined Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays at the Peppermill Restaurant. They had no children but remembered every family birthday with a card with $5 in it."

A Mass of Christian burial for the couple will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, 6428 York Road, and they will be buried together at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

Survivors also include three sisters-in-law, June Daue and Dorothy Daue, both of Towson, and Mildred Gray of Baltimore, and other nieces and nephews.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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