Rev. Dale's Story

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Rev. Dale E. Gray, 89, of Des Moines and formerly of Ottumwa died October 21, 2017 at his home.
He was born on the family farm in Southeastern Mahaska County on November 14, 1927 to Fred R. and Clara Denberger Gray. He attended rural schools and graduated from Eddyville High School in 1946. He lettered in baseball and was president of his senior class.
Dale was united in marriage to Yvonne Binns at her home in Eddyville on August 17, 1947.
Making their home in Ottumwa, Dale worked at John Deere Ottumwa Works, retiring after 30 years.
He was a member of Willard Street United Methodist Church where he taught the young adult Sunday School class and served faithfully as an officer of the church. He was also a Wapello County lay leader. When the Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United Brethren he was asked by the Superintendent to fill the pulpit at Lovilia United Methodist Church for a while. He stayed seven years before continuing his education. He attended Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL and was ordained in 1977. After leaving the Lovilia Church he was appointed to Lamoni, Decatur City and Davis City. He also served the Ottumwa Riverview, Agency, Eldon, Van Meter and Booneville churches.
After retirement he came back to Ottumwa and was the Pastor for the United Church of Christ also known as Plymouth Congregational Church for 14 years.
He was granted a dual membership in the Church of Christ.
Surviving is his wife of 70 years, Yvonne; a daughter, Alison (Rev. Steven) McElroy of Norwalk; three grandchildren, Keisha (Wesley) Long, Grayson McElroy and Rileigh McElroy; two great grandchildren, Makena and Bob; two brothers, Marvin (Georgia) Gray of Marshfield, MO and Ronald (Margie) Gray of Rock Island, IL; many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by a daughter and son-in-law, Angela and David Lange; his parents; five sisters, Gayle Gray, Ina Massina, Beulah McCurdy, Lucille Solomon and Normalee Gray; two brothers, Clifford Gray and Zane Gray.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Willard Street United Methodist Church with his son-in-law, Rev. Steven McElroy officiating. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery in Eddyville.
Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Reece Funeral Home with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Memorials may be made to Heifer International.
Published on October 23, 2017
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