There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die. Ecclesiastes 3:1
Robert Stoppel Gray died July 1, 2023 at Cascade Creek Memory Care Community. He was born November 14, 1946 to Mildred Stoppel Gray and C. Leslie Gray in Rochester, Minnesota. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1965. Following high school, Bob attended Indiana University on a tennis scholarship after winning the Minnesota State High Tennis Single Championship his senior year.
In 1970, Bob started his teaching career in Indianapolis, Indiana before returning to Rochester to educate 5th graders at Gage Elementary School for 30 years. During this time, Bob earned his Master's Degree from the University of Minnesota. This career also included coaching boys' tennis at Mayo High school for 7 years.
After meeting at Indiana University, Bob was united in marriage to Mariann Wiltshire
On August 11, 1973 in Peru, Indiana. In 1975, a son, Chad Wiltshire Gray, was born.
Being born and baptized in First Baptist Church, Bob remained active as an adult. He served on the Missions Board, taught Sunday school, served as a Greeter and taught Kindergarten Church with his wife. He initiated Young Life, a non-denominational Christian organization, in Rochester and served on the Olmsted County History Center Board. Bob was instrumental in encouraging and mentoring younger tennis players. Many of those youth, thanks to Bob, continued play college tennis. He always took the positive approach with kids to keep the love of learning alive in all of their pursuits. Due to his involvement in tennis and the community, Bob was inducted with the class of 2011 into The Rochester Quarterback's Hall of Fame.
The love of Christ was Bob's first priority. He had a gift of easily witnessing to anyone at any time about his personal relationship with Jesus and Salvation. He always demonstrated his faith through unconditional love as Christ did. His morals and ethics were embedded in his Christian faith and unshakable.
Bob is survived by his wife Mariann, his son Chad of Rochester, granddaughter Riley of Rochester. Also surviving are Sally (Thomas) Keith, sister-in-law, Peru, Indiana, Mary Courtney (Kenneth) Shaffer, niece, Peru, Indiana and John (Susan Yoon) Keith, nephew, Bloomington, Indiana.
A very special thank you to the staff at Cascade Creek and St. Croix Hospice for the respect, care and dignity given to Bob over the last several months. No better care could have been asked for by a family.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family requests that you reach out to a person who is ill. Visit, hold a hand, smile, say the person's name and tell a story. Don't tell someone you wish you could do something. Do it. Send an email, send a note, or call to let the caregiver know you remember. Just let the family know you haven't forgotten. You were once a friend.
A Memorial Service will be held Friday August 11, 2023 at 3:00 PM at Autumn Ridge Church (3611 Salem Rd. SW, Rochester, MN), the same day of Bob and Mariann's 50th Wedding Anniversary. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Gray family; to share a special memory please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.