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Richard Norwood Gray
Compatriot Gray's patriot ancestor is John Norwood.
Richard Norwood Gray, 81, of Columbia passed from this life at home on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, after losing his 4˝ year battle with cancer.
Richard was born in Evanston, Ill., on Feb. 3, 1934, to Richard Fulton Gray and Audrey (Dielschneider) Gray. At 7, Richard’s family moved to Portland, Ore., where he attended Grant High School, graduating in 1952. He attended the University of Oregon, graduating in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He lettered in tennis at Grant High and the University of Oregon.
In December 1959, he married Jennifer Sercombe. They were just three weeks shy of their 56th wedding anniversary.
He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Beth Patton (Steve) and Julie Fisher (Scott); and his seven grandchildren, Justin LaBella (Kallie), Jeff LaBella, Jack Patton, Will Patton, Evan Patton, Sydney Fisher and Gray Fisher.
Richard began his career in personnel administration in Salem, Ore., before becoming the assistant city manager. He spent the next 25 years as city manager of Grand Junction, Colo., Norman, Okla., Farmington, N.M., and Columbia.
After retiring from city management in 1985, he continued his career as executive director of a not-for-profit social services agency. He retired in 2002.
During his career, he served on numerous professional committees and boards and was a lifetime member of Rotary International. He was a member of the M. Graham Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
He served six years on the Columbia Neighborhood Watch Board as treasurer and received the “Hero Award” for outstanding volunteer in community protection in 2011.
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