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1916 – 2019

Les Gray passed away January 22, 2019, having reached the age of 102, in his home in Hemet, California. Born on Long Island, New York, he was active in the Boy Scouts, sang in a band while in high school, and worked as a caddy to help support his family. His “kid” brother was shot down during WWII, and his four sisters predeceased him. He met his beloved Carolyn in high school and they were married in 1937. The two were devoted to each other throughout their sixty-year marriage that ended when Carolyn passed in 1997.

They reared two daughters, Nancy Gray Vopat, who passed in 2003, and Linda Gray Newberry (Jack), of Napa. The family moved to Southern California in 1947, and Les and Carolyn moved to Calistoga in the 1970s only to relocate to Southern California a few years later for health reasons.

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Les is survived by four grandchildren: Sharon Vopat Mitchell (Ken), Kristi Vopat Abundis (Rob), Steven Burgess (Marne), and James Burgess. His nine great-grandchildren are: Kasey, Kendyll and Kolby Mitchell; Isabella and Gavin Abundis; Kira and Brandon Burgess and Thatcher and Crawford Burgess. He is also survived by his second wife, Sylvia Leading Gray, with whom Les was fortunate to spend 15 happy years.

Les was a born salesman, was a Civil War buff, and had a lovely voice. His idols were John Wayne and Abe Lincoln. At his 100th year birthday party, accompanied by a guitarist, he sang, strong and true, Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World. He was a positive thinking, humorous and grateful gentleman who will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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