Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Rich's History

Gone But Not Forgotten

GraySm.jpg Captain Richard C. Gray, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, suffered a heart attack while at work in Chatsworth, CA on February 28, 1985. He died later that day at Canoga Park Hospital.

It was my special privilege to have been a close friend of Rich for over 25 years. We were roommates at Lackland AFB, TX where we underwent basic training prior to entering the Air Force Academy Preparatory School at Bainbridge, MD, where we again were roommates.

While at the Academy Rich was a member of the 8th Cadet Squadron, where he will be remembered for his tremendous physical condition, athletic ability and leadership qualities — but most for his easy-going manner and unique peal of laughter. After graduation Rich was assigned to pilot training at Laredo AFB, TX. Rich left the Air Force in 1969 as a captain and pilot of a B-52. He flew many missions over Vietnam.

After receiving his MBA degree from Pepperdine University, he worked for FMC as a sales representative. From there he joined Lear Siegler Instrument Division, Grand Rapids, MI, as a marketing representative; then on to Bomar Corporation as corporate marketing director and finally with Guidance Technology Inc. of Chatsworth, CA., an aerospace firm, as director of marketing.

Except for his time in the Air Force, Rich and I were constant companions as we lived in the same states throughout our business careers. For those of you who had not seen Rich for some years, I can attest to his many fine accomplishments and sterling character. Rich was a model husband and father. His primary concerns were always his family, friends, church and career.

His memorial service, which was held at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Chapel, Westlake Village, CA, was attended by so many people that there was standing room only with many more outside the chapel. Rich was buried in the veterans section of Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park.

Rich was a unique individual who was admired and respected by all who knew him. He will be remembered for his dedicated friendship, his unconditional love for his family and his uncommon good nature. He is survived by his lovely and devoted wife Rosa, three enviable children, Claudia, Richard Curtis II and Bryan; his parents, Russel and Evelyn Gray of Fremont; a sister, Dolores Pearson of Fremont, and two brothers, Russel and Gary, both of San Leandro, Calif.

It is hard to believe and accept that Rich is gone, but it is comforting to know that he did it all with class and goodness and that surely he is one of God's chosen people. We miss you, Rich.

(Raleigh Garcia Myhren, '64, Gone But Not Forgotten, Checkpoints, Spring 1985)
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