Charles Lester Gray, Jr. was born in Portland, Ore., on May 13, 1929 to Delta Mae (Drinkard) and Dr. Charles Lester Gray, Sr. He moved to Wasco at the age of 5 when his mother married Rolland M. Johnson.
Les graduated from Wasco High School and attended University of Western States. February 21, 1951 he married Barbara Jean Metzger in Portland.
After Les left the University of Western States, he and his wife moved to John Day so he could work with his father. From John Day, they moved to Echo, where his father built a new office and moved his practice. After his father died in 1952, Les and his family moved back to Wasco for a bit, then to Moro. He worked on the state road crew, drove ambulance, was a part-time deputy sheriff, and owned and operated Moro Motors, where he repaired vehicles and sold Bell Boy boats in downtown Moro. The business burned to the ground in early 1962.
In June of 1962, the family moved to the ranch east of Wasco, where Les farmed first with Rolland, and then with his son Brett. He retired in 2006, and Les and Barbara moved to The Dalles in 2008.
Les's hobbies were many, including flying planes, boating, shooting trap, hunting, fishing, bowling, playing cards, tending tropical fish, collecting coins, and in his later years, growing orchids.
He was a member of the Elks for over 50 years and a long-time member of the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Gray is survived by his children and their spouses: Cheryl and Mike Woods of Centerville, Wash., Rolinda and Robert Meakins of Umatilla, Ore., and Brett and Trena Gray of Wasco; grandchildren Kate Woods, Scott (Jaime) Meakins, Katrina (Ash) Cooper, Michelle (Bob) Stellflug, Eric (Renate) Meakins, Tiffany (Travis) Tillman and Brooke (Zach) Gray; and five great-grandchildren with one on the way. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, and one great-grandson, Hayden.
A memorial graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 9 at 11 a.m. at the IOOF Cemetery in The Dalles, Ore. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to The Independence Fund (http://independencefund.org/page/donate). To send condolences to the family, please visit www.gardnerfh.com.
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