Robert J. "Bob" Gray, 81, of Freeport, died peacefully Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Bob was born in Boggsville on Nov. 18, 1936, to Clement Leo and Edna Mae (Harbison) Gray. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Mary Ellen (Schoonmaker) Gray. Bob was a graduate of Freeport High School and Clarion University before going on to receive his master's degree and principal's certificate from West Virginia University and Duquesne University. After completing his student teaching at Har-Brack, he continued his public service as an educator in Freeport Area School District for 35 years. In addition to teaching biology, history and driver's education, he completed his tenure serving as the high school assistant principal and then retired as principal. Bob's hobbies, interests and accomplishments included being a longtime member of the NRA and Freeport Area Sportsman's Club, where he served as an officer and was the club's 1972 trap shooting champion. He was a long-standing member of the Leechburg Elks Lodge No. 377. Bob always had a passion for baseball. In his younger days, his talent led to minor league opportunities. Instead, he chose to serve in the Naval Reserves. In 1968, he was the head coach of the Freeport Baseball Team and led them to the WPIAL finals. In addition to being in the company of his family and his ever-faithful dog, Annie, Bob also enjoyed spending time with his longtime collegiate friend, William T. Carol. Those who knew him well were fortunate to enjoy his fabulous creme brule and delicious maple ice cream. One of his favorite pastimes was being a member of the Freeport Literary Society (aka Teacher's Poker Club). In addition to his wife mentioned above, he is survived by his three children and their spouses: Kimberly Green (Albert), Robert P. Gray (Barbara) and Heather Usko (David). His legacy also includes five grandchildren, Robyn (Greg) Bergstrom, Casey Green, Tara Usko, Meredith Green and Tyler Usko; and two great-grandchildren, Elias and Evalee. Also surviving is his sister, Donna (Jim) Lucas, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, mentioned above. Family and friends may be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 1, at DENNIS J. DAUGHERTY FUNERAL HOME, 324 Fourth St., Freeport. A parting prayer service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 2, followed by a Christian funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Mary, Mother of God, Roman Catholic Church, Freeport, with his pastor, the Rev. Ronald Maquinana, as celebrant. Committal services and burial will follow in the St. Mary Cemetery, Freeport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Freeport Area Library, 428 Market St., Freeport, PA 16229.
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