Robert (Bob) L. McGray Sr.
Birth date: September 27, 1925
Death date: April 21, 2012
Robert (Bob) L. McGray Sr., born 09/27/1925, passed away 04/21/2012 quietly at home among loved ones. Bob is survived by: his loving wife of 68 years Flo Mc Gray; granddaughters Katie McGray and Sherri Rabren of Bozeman; grandson Michael McGray of Michigan; and three great-grandsons. He is preceded in death by his daughter Cathy McGray-Reichstetter.
Bob was a WWII and Iwo Jima survivor as well as a Silver Star recipient. After the Marine Corps, Bob returned home to his family and worked many years as a pipe fitter for a Sprinkler Company in Los Angeles, California. Some of the jobs he worked on included the Matterhorn at Disneyland and the Sears Tower. He was very handy at woodworking and construction and spent many summers after retirement working for his son-in-law’s construction company in Big Sky, MT. He was very active in the community, his church as well as the Marine Corps League of Bozeman. He was also very active with the Elks Lodge in Big Bear, CA. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He was there for anyone to talk to and would give the shirt off his back for anyone in need. He was the type of man to give his last dollar to someone if they needed it.
Bob loved to laugh and cut up. He loved to make people happy and could get anyone to laugh no matter how down they were. He would be the first to show up and the last to leave in any situation.
Bob would spend hours working in the garden tending to flowers and vegetables, reading a western, hanging out watching his children and grand children work with horses, or sharing stories of the good old days.
Bob loved listening to Big Band music, old time western music, like the Sons of the Pioneers or Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and loved his John Wayne Movies. If there was a good song playing, he would swing us around and dance in the middle of the living room without a care in the world.
His eyes would light up when any of his children or grandchildren were recognized for their achievements or awards for winning competitions. He was a big supporter of their dreams and goals. His eyes would light up when old glory waved in his front yard and his eyes would mist up singing the National Anthem. He loved this great nation with all his heart and never once regretted fighting for her and the people that live here.
Every morning he would walk out in to the front yard and salute Old Glory and his Marine Corps flag and smile or wink at who ever stood beside him as he said “Ain’t that a sight?” Another one of his favorite sayings was “First your money, then your clothes.” Then he would shrug and smile. His favorite wakeup call in the morning for his grandchildren would be to sing Reveille at Oh Dark Thirty and laugh at the protesting and grumbles. When he would get mad he would say “Batsa Looie” which was an Italian swear word that he always thought we didn’t know the meaning to.
He was proud of his time in the Corps, it made him into the man we all knew. He proudly displayed all his USMC memorabilia as well as a USMC flag that was signed and given to him by Marines deployed in Iraq when they learned his flag was stolen by some college students. Anyone who would stop by the house needing to write a paper for school, he would gladly spend the time and the hours answering all the questions. He loved talking to anyone who took the time to sit and listen to his stories. He loved talking to the ladies, kissing the babies and shaking hands with others that would take the time to thank him. He didn’t expect a thank you, but it sure made him feel good.
If there was one thing Grandpa could say to us it would more than likely be “OOO-RA Semper- Fi, it’s been one hell of a ride!”
He was a man of many accomplishments as well as a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He made sure that we had the skills we needed to get by and always said never stop learning; you may never know when you will need the school of hard knocks to help make your way through life. Keep the faith and keep your head held high. The good Lord hears your prayers and is always with you.
Thank you to Christine Dennis for all your help and love. You are an angel here on earth. We love you so much and so does Bob.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Saturday April 28, 2012 at the Evangelical Free Church on 19th followed by a ceremony at the cemetery.
Memorials in his name may be made to the Evangelical Free Church, 1701 S. 19th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59718 or the Marine Corps League of Bozeman, 1410 Maple Dr., Bozeman, MT 59715.
11:00 am on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at Evangelical Free Church 1701 S. 19th Ave. Bozeman MT 59718 (map/driving directions)