Northbridge, MA - James W. Gray II, 66, formerly of Essex, VT passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 18th, surrounded by his loving family.
Jim grew up in Newport and South Burlington, Vermont. He received his bachelor’s degree from UVM, which is where he met his wife, E.B., to whom he was happily married for 44 years. Jim spent most of his career working in finance at IBM, where he made many great lifelong friends. Following his retirement in 2008, he enjoyed working part-time at the New England Federal Credit Union where his innate ability to connect with people was put to good use as a mobile loan closer.
Most important to Jim was his role as a father to his two sons, Michael and Brian, his pride and joy. He coached both of his sons on their little league teams, and often shared that being a coach was one of the fondest memories of his life. He also served on the board of Essex Youth Hockey, and volunteered for causes that were important to him such as being a “big brother” for the Mobius Mentor Program and donating his time to the food shelf.
Jim was incredibly active and became determined to run a marathon by the time he turned 50. He ended up finishing 7 marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2005, of which he was particularly proud. He was an avid golfer and a huge fan of all Boston sports teams and was happiest in his recliner with a drink watching the Red Sox, Bruins, or Patriots on TV.
Jim was known far and wide for his positive, upbeat, and outgoing personality. He loved meeting new people and genuinely cared about learning the stories of others. Few interactions were passing for Jim - he got to know just about everyone that he came in contact with. Because of this quality, people couldn’t help but love him and he developed countless long-lasting and meaningful friendships across his entire life in everything he did. He was welcoming, kind, compassionate and always had a smile on his face. Jim was never happier than when he was surrounded by family and friends, or when he was playing with kids of all ages - most of all his beloved grandchildren. Jim and E.B. moved to Massachusetts to be closer to their children and their families, and they have spent the last few years actively engaged in their grandchildren's lives.
Jim leaves his wife, E.B., his two sons, Michael and Brian, along with their wives and 5 grandchildren, his parents, James and Carolyn (Akin), brother Dan, and sister Jill, plus many, many more special family members on both sides.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, September 28th at 2 pm at the First Congregational Church of Essex Junction. Reception to follow in the church. Donations may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of James W. Gray II to support cancer research and patient care at:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
P.O. Box 849168
Boston, MA 02284
or via www.dana-farber.org/gift (in memory of James Gray)