The Bandera Bulletin

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Posted: Monday, February 18, 2019 1:08 pm

On February 17, 2019 William Preston Gray, a resident of Bandera, Texas, Carrizo Springs, Texas, San Antonio, Texas and his childhood home, Lytle, Texas passed, in the fullness of 87 years, on to the happy hunting and fishing grounds of his dreams.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Velma and Willie Gray, siblings Mac Olan Gray, Pauline Gray Howell and Willie Dee Gray Bartley.  Lake T. Webb of Carrizo Springs, Texas, his fishing partner, preceded him in death.  Dick Pipes of Lytle, also a dear sporting companion, preceded him also.  Today they are reunited in the glory of God.  

Preston is survived by two children, a daughter, Kathleen Gray Keen, her husband, Robert Earl Keen,  and their two daughters, Clara Rose Keen and Chloe Grace Keen of Kerrville, Texas and by his son, John Richard Gray and his wife Robin Brown Gray of Fredricksburg, Texas.

He is also survived by his siblings and their spouses, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Gray of Hondo, Texas, Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Gray of San Antonio and Marynell Hall of Austin, Texas; also by nieces Nancy Jane Hall, Janice Ward, Cindy Jo Wright, Susan Howell Boone, Gladys Ann Smith and Linda Carol Ayotte.  His nephews are Benjamin Gray, Jeffrey Gray, David Gray, Donald Hall, Christopher Bartley and Greg Bartley.

Preston resided in Bandera the past 33 years.  He was beloved by his community which he served in the capacity of owner of the former Purple Hills Manor, as the owner of Gray Realty and as a friend to many.  

Preston was generous with his gifts.  He always had time for a visit and welcomed all by saying, “come sit down here and talk to me for a minute.”  His descriptive language and vivid portrayals of life on the farm in Lytle entertained many a listener.  His stories of youth and army life, about days with his best friend Mike Naegelin, sleeping in a tent in the snow in Virginia and a lifetime of other tales, he told with clarity and joy, as if he were experiencing those moments again. 

The family thanks the community of Bandera, Ken Finley and the “beautiful ladies” at Bandera Bank and the earthly angels of Magnolia Pearl for the support and friendship their beloved received during his life and the last weeks when his health but not his heart were failing. 

There will be no service to celebrate Preston’s life as was his expressed desire. The song, “Paint the Town Beige” was written by Robert Keen about Preston.  To honor William Preston Gray please help a neighbor, give to the needy and watch the sunrise. 

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