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JA Snow Funeral Home

OBITUARY

John Maurice GRAY

11 October, 192616 February, 2021

With sadness but also gratitude for a life well lived we announce the death of Dr. John M. Gray MD on 16th February, aged 94. Survived by Fiona his wife of 61 years, children Angela (Paul), Christopher (Mitra), Andrew (Laveada) and David, and grandchildren Joshua, Helen, Miles, Hoda, Emily and Charlotte. Born 11th October 1926, to Oliver and Rose Gray in Westbridgford, Nottingham, UK, and predeceased by brothers Peter, Malcolm and William. Survived by much loved sister Margaret. John’s earliest role models taught him the Christian virtues of caring and humility. When, as a young man, he committed himself to faith in Jesus, it was these values that primarily shaped his dedication to a life of service. Three years after graduating from the Medical College of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital London, John, at the age of 30, joined the International Grenfell Association, a Christian medical Mission that served the isolated and underserved communities of northern Newfoundland and southern Labrador. An adventurous spirit was required, as many communities could only be reached by dog team in winter and boat or floatplane in summer. During his 25 year tenure with the IGA, John played a central role in improving the quality of health care, such that, especially after construction of the regional Charles Curtis Memorial, it rivaled any across Eastern Canada. He contributed in many other ways to the welfare of the community, such as spearheading the first long term senior care facility in the region, of which its larger replacement was named in his honour. The people he served and respected, together with medical staff he worked closely with, always remained dearest to his heart. In 1981 John left the IGA to lead the development of a new geriatric division at Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax Nova Scotia. He co-founded the Alzheimer’s Society of N.S. to help address the devastating nature of this disease. John’s life of service would not have been possible without the unwavering support of Fiona, who he first met in 1958 during her IGA volunteer service. Upon retirement in 1993, John remained on several Boards in an advisory capacity, and at home continued to share his love of gardening with Fiona, his passion for Bach and Mozart, and his joy of carpentry, building clocks and furniture for his children and grandchildren. John will be dearly missed for his skills as an Internist, his compassion for his patients, his care for the community, his love for family, his deep convictions and sense of humour. The family wishes to express their enormous gratitude to Dr. Kenneth Rockwood for his Friendship, support and care, to Dr. Dan Carver and Abbie Lane staff, the VON, Northwood Homecare, Dr. Patrick Somers, the caring staff of Bradford Hall, and especially the many friends who he so treasured. A Celebration of Life for John will be scheduled at a later date. A Facebook page “Remembering Dr. John M. Gray” will be published. Condolences may be forwarded at http://www.jasnowfuneralhome.com/. Donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia.

Services

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Memories

John Maurice GRAY

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Daniel Carver

11 March 2021

My sincere condolences to Fiona and all of John's family. I feel sadness and pain about his loss. I have many fond memories of John - he was my teacher, mentor, advisor and friend. He was an amazing physician role model. I believe John had the ability to impart a bit of magic to all he met and somehow make us a better person. I will always remember John. It was an honour to have known him.

LINDA BIRD

5 March 2021

On behalf of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia, we extend our deepest condolences to Fiona and the family. In 1982, Dr. Gray and Phyllis Horton identified the need for families to access education and support here in Nova Scotia. They founded our provincial Alzheimer Society and started to pilot our very first caregiver support groups. We are grateful for the vision he developed and proud to continue the work he began. After his official retirement, Dr. Gray stayed connected and was always interested updates on society activities. We will always remember Dr. Gray as a kind, compassionate physician, who leaves behind a strong legacy of supporting seniors and a transformative contribution to dementia care in our province.
Linda Bird

Susan Francis

3 March 2021

To the family of Dr. John GRAY.

How sad I was to read of the passing of Dr. Gray. I met him in the 80’s as a member of the Anglican Committee on Aging. He was so kind & offered the committee much information on the aging process & needs to our senior members in our Nova Scotia community. I so appreciated the quiet faith he carried with him.
Meeting Fiona at social functions with him was also a joy.
May you find comfort in knowing how many lives he impacted, A life well lived. May he Rest In Peace.

Susan Francis

Linda Brinson nee Duffett

28 February 2021

Sincere Condolences to all.I first met Dr.Gray almost 50 yrs ago in St.Anthony where I started nursing.He was always so kind to the staff and especially the patients.He was a great teacher and taught me so much.It was a privilege to have know him.

Carmen Johnstone-Chapman

28 February 2021

Dear Fiona and family; I was so sorry to have heard the news of Dr. Gray's passing. In the late 80's, he was the first geriatrician I worked with in the memory clinic when I began my social work career and what a teacher he was! He was so kind and respectful with his patients and their families. I loved how he would sit down next to the patient-at their eye level-and deliver as gently but honestly as he could re their diagnosis. He always saw the person behind the disease, and gave them the time they deserved. At the end of each session, he would take their hand gently in his and tell them what a pleasure and privilege it was to be involved in their care! That was special and made a lasting impression on me and many others. I will cherish even more the wooden trivet he so cleverly made in his workshop and gave to me one year as a gift. I was also very proud to be a recipient of the"Gray Cup" award in his honour after he retired and the kind words he spoke to me at that time. I admired him being a pioneer of geriatrics in NFLD, and the bravery and tenacity that took, as well as him being a man of strong faith and convictions. He always spoke highly of his family and I enjoyed meeting Fiona and seeing them around my community when they lived in the Bay. Dr Gray contributed so much in many aspects of life, not just his career, and he lived life well. He will be fondly remembered and forever missed. Take care of each other at this difficult time.

Susan Bagley

28 February 2021

My memory of Dr. Gray is like a warm hug. I worked with him in the Veterans Memorial Building and always found him to be a truly gentle man. His respect of and caring for his patients was wonderful to see and I learned so much from just watching. His sense of humour and quick wit were infectious. Our paths crossed many times over the years and he always had a kind word and a smile. What a life he lived! You are all in my thoughts, Susan Bagley

Della Roode ( nee MacLeod )

28 February 2021

Dear Mrs. Gray and family, I am so sorry to learn of your very sad loss. I met Dr. Gray and Mrs. Gray when you vacationed at The Point in Ingonish and I was your waitress. Many years later, my mother was one of Dr. Gary's patients when she moved to Halifax . His gentle, caring treatment of her did more for her than words can ever express. During a stay in the hospital, one morning Dr. Gray arrived at her bedside and gave her a bouquet of sweet peas from his flower garden. No one will ever know how much that kindness meant to her, or to my brother and I.

Sometimes I would see Dr. Gray in one of the local stores when you lived in the St. Margaret's Bay area. He always had time for a little chat and to ask about my family.

He was a fine and wonderful man, a true example of a gentleman, kind and caring . I feel privileged to have known him.

Thinking of you all and sending you my sincere sympathy,

Della Roode ( MacLeod )

Phyllis Rose

27 February 2021

To Fiona and family, I was so sad to hear of Dr. Gray's passing. I have many fond memories of my time working with him at the hospital in St Anthony. He helped me tremendously after the death of my father when I was just 20 years old. His compassion and understanding has not been forgotten. I am sure that every life that he came in contact with was changed for the better as was mine! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. With love from Tony and Phyllis Rose and family. Conception Bay South, Newfoundland

David Hogan

27 February 2021

I was very sorry to hear of Dr. Gray's passing, but as many have noted he lived a remarkable life. I had the great privilege to work with Dr. Gray in the mid to late 1980s at the start of my medical career. A quotation attributed to him by Christina Martin that I think best encapsulates his commitment as a compassionate and thoughtful physician is “You will never regret having cared for another human being”.

Elizabeth Scammell-Reynolds

27 February 2021

JOHN GRAY


THE WORLD HAS LOST A VERY SPECIAL PERSON

From the Family