John (Jack) Sanford Gray, 94, Rhodes

John (Jack) Sanford Gray, 94, passed from this life May 27, 2020 after a short illness, with family by his side at his home in Rhodes, IA. 

Jack was born May 8, 1926 to James Lyall Gray and Bernice Smith Gray.  He grew up in the Rhodes area and graduated from Rhodes High School, class of 1944.  After graduation, Jack served two years in the Army during WWII.  Following the war, Jack returned home to farm with his dad west of Rhodes and married Mary Ellen Townsend June 6, 1948.  Six children were a result of this union:  Bonnie, Gary, Stan, Becky, Jim and Rob.

Jack never shied away from a hard day’s work.  He farmed, worked on the Milwaukee Railroad and with the Marshall County road crew until retiring in 1991.  Following his retirement, Jack spent many hours mowing lawns and riding his moped.

Jack was a member of the Rhodes United Methodist Church, Rhodes American Legion and served on the Rhodes city council for several years.

Jack enjoyed being a member of The Lucky 7 band, playing his trumpet, listening to Dixieland Music, spending time with friends (including the Blooming Idiots) and attending family sporting events.

Preceding Jack in death were his daughter Becky Gray Butler, his sister Hope (Ferd) Weise and his parents Lyall & Bernice Gray.  Left to cherish his memory are his wife of nearly 72 years Mary Ellen; children Bonnie (John) Peek of Waukee, IA; Gary (Sheila) Gray of Eugene, OR; Stan (Deb) Gray of Murray, IA; Jim (Kristen) Gray of Ankeny, IA; Rob (Lorie) Gray of Marshalltown, IA along with 13 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Arrangements to be determined at a later date.

1 Comment

  1. Shari Cox on June 3, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Jack was a very special person with a personality that matched. He was good friends with my parents, Francis and Doris Ream and they were one of the couples in the Blooming Idiots. He will be missed by all family and friends.

Leave a Comment