Eddie Gray

April 4, 1947 - February 27, 2024
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Eddie Lee Gray
April 4, 1947 – February 27, 2024


In the late evening hours of February 27th, after an extended illness, and with his loving wife Bonnie by his side in their Tucson home, Eddie (Ed) Gray passed peacefully, moving on to his glorious eternal home in heaven.  Known as “Poppa” to his family, Ed lived a life of devotion to God and to his family.

Born in Enid, Oklahoma, Ed’s family moved to Tucson in the fall of 1953, when he was six years old.  His father Earl worked in automotive repair, later opening his own successful business.  Ed attended Sunnyside Elementary School, where his academic achievement led to him skipping the second grade.  The family relocated to Tucson’s northwest side, where Ed and his siblings (Larry and Norma) attended Marana District schools, and enjoyed a loving and fun-filled upbringing.  Most weekends, the entire family would spend time exploring the desert and capturing wildlife, including snakes, lizards, tortoises and even a family of bobcats!  Ed and Larry also inherited their father’s love for cars, and learned to drive on the rural back roads by the age of 10.  They enjoyed collecting and working on their vehicles, and racing stock cars at Tucson Racetrack.

At the age of 12, Ed gave his life to Jesus, praying one evening with his pastor in the family’s home.  He was baptized soon after.  Ed’s life was forever changed, and he would spend the rest of his days pursuing God, and sharing God’s love with others.

Ed excelled academically, played clarinet in the school marching bands and was an all-conference fullback and defensive end on some very successful Marana football teams.  Ed’s love for all things automotive continued in high school, as the big block muscle car era was in full swing.  Anytime Ed spoke of his baby blue 1964 Ford Galaxie XL, a graduation gift from his parents, there was an extra sparkle in his eye.  Ed graduated in 1964, and worked at his Dad’s auto repair shop, while leading the junior high youth group at church.  After receiving his draft notice, he voluntarily enlisted with the Air Force, serving for almost four years, most of which as an aircraft mechanic crew at Williams AFB in the Phoenix area.  Though Ed had hoped he would be stationed in Tucson at Davis-Monthan, it turned out Williams was a blessing, as he would have been quickly sent to Vietnam from the D-M fighter squadron base.  A highlight of Ed’s time in the service (other than some epic hot rod stories) was his fellow USAF tech and dear friend Joe Souza, who would accompany Ed to Tucson on the weekends, and eventually gave his life to Christ.  Ed called this “a really great day”!

After the service, Ed worked some jobs with Joe and served as a camp counselor, before deciding to pursue Biblical studies at Southwestern College in Phoenix.  The day he stepped onto campus he met the love of his life, Bonnie.  They were married a year later and started their lives together in Tucson, then in Bonnie’s hometown of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where Ed started work in long-haul trucking.  They welcomed their first two sons, Jared (Jed) and Joshua, then moved back to Tucson in September of 1974.  He led his family (with the additions of their son Jonathan in 1979 and daughter JoAnna in 1983) with a loving and steady hand, modeling the value of a life devoted to God.  Along with trucking and transportation, Ed also held jobs in insurance and auto service.  He served in music, teaching and children’s ministries, later leading a home church as an ordained minister.

Ed was a faithful and loving husband to his wife Bonnie, for their 52 years of marriage.  The love they shared was true and rare, admired by many, but especially by their children.  Ed delighted in his children, always taking interest in their activities, supporting them through their struggles and rejoicing in their achievements.  The same was true of his eleven grandchildren.  He touched many lives over his almost 77 years on earth.  He enjoyed hearing the latest on the lives of his loved ones, and reminiscing about days gone by.  He had a great sense of humor and loved a good laugh.  In his spare time you could find him immersed in Biblical learning or taking in a good movie.  He thoroughly enjoyed Bonnie’s cooking and loved to host family gatherings in their home.  He maintained an online Bible study blog into the final weeks of his life.  He will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed.

Ed was preceded in death by his older sister, Joyce Loretta, his parents Earl and Betty , and his step-mother, Norma.  He is survived by his wife, Bonnie, their four children and eleven grandchildren — Jed (Valerie) Gray and daughter Josie, Josh (Susan) Gray and their children Lauren and Lane, Jon (Holly) Gray and their children Selah, Abigail, Noah, Caleb, Shepherd and Jonah, and JoAnna (Sean) Kewin and their children Kaitlin and Declan — as well as his brother Larry (Carol), sister Norma (Pat) and several nieces and nephews.

Ed will be laid to rest in the Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Marana.   His family will host a public memorial service on Saturday, April 6th at 10:30 am at New Life Bible Fellowship, officiated by Pastor Bill Wright.   The service will be streamed live online.  Please contact the family for further information.








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Born: April 4, 1947
Died: February 27, 2024

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Marana Mortuary & Cemetery

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