Catholic 07

Donald Peter Gray

March 29, 1937 ~ February 20, 2024 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Donald Gray Obituary


Donald Peter Gray, 86, of Old Sherman Hill Road died Tuesday February 20, 2024 in his home. Dr. Gray was born March 29, 1937 in Rochester, New York a son of the late Lloyd Wilfred and Rose Isabel (Pohli) Gray. He was the beloved husband of Jeanne Gray for 45 years.

He had taught as a professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College, in Riverdale, NY for 55 years, teaching courses ranging from New Testament theology to a popular course called “Death as a Fact of Life,” which examined various religious, philosophical, psychological, ethical, and medical issues regarding death, bereavement, and end-of-life questions. A lifelong scholar, he completed a Bachelor’s degree in Classics at St Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in Religious Studies at Notre Dame University, and a PhD in Theology at Fordham University. Much of his scholarship was on the theology and thought of Teilhard de Chardin, and he was an officer of the American Teilhard Association for many years. Dr. Gray was a versatile educator, and he not only taught at Manhattan College, but also taught in graduate programs at Fordham and Fairfield Universities, at various seminaries in CT and NY, taught candidates in the Bridgeport diaconate, and taught a popular course on the bible in the Hartford Catholic Bible School, a program within Saint Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. 

Donald was a resident of Woodbury, CT for nearly 4 decades, where he lived with his wife Jeanne, a local family therapist, and daughter Jessica. He loved live theater, especially musicals, enjoyed going to museums, libraries, and, as a prodigious book collector, he especially loved bookstores. As an avid reader, he rarely went anywhere without bringing a book along. He enjoyed going to movies, romantic comedies in particular. A cat lover as well, Donald cared for many feline friends over the years. 

Donald is a man many remember for his kindness, intelligence, and generosity. His expansive teaching career meant Donald had an opportunity to instruct a vast swath of students from all walks of life, in a variety of educational settings and degree programs. A dedicated teacher for over half a century, Donald played a firsthand role in the education of thousands of students. 

Besides his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Jessica Gray and her partner Brian St. Pierre of Branford, CT; two sons, John Gray of NY and David Gray of AZ; daughter, Ellen Grande of CA, two grandchildren; a brother, Bill Gray, and his spouse Ron Rickow, of CA; several brothers and sisters-in-law, and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by a brother, Lloyd Gray. 

A mass of Christian burial will be held Wednesday February 28 at 11 am at Sacred Heart Church, 910 Main Street South in Southbury. Friends may call in the daily chapel of the church on Tuesday February 27, from 6 to 8 pm. Burial will be held in the New North cemetery, Woodbury.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to Animals for Life or Human Rights Watch. 

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February 27, 2024

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sacred Heart Church Southbury
910 Main St S.
Southbury, CT 06488

Mass of Christian Burial
February 28, 2024

11:00 AM
Sacred Heart Church Southbury
910 Main St S.
Southbury, CT 06488

February 28, 2024

4:00 PM
New North Cemetery
Washington Ave
Woodbury, CT 06798


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