Donald Kenneth Gray, 87, of Clinton, Tennessee, passed peacefully on May 31, 2021 at NHC Oak Ridge after a short illness. Don was the son of the late Charlie and Bessie Gray of Morristown, and the husband of the late Betty V. Gray, also of Clinton. Don enlisted in the Marines at the age of 17 and was a member of the 1 st Marine Air Wing in the Korean War. He served as a cryptographer with secret clearance in Pohang, Korea from 1951 – 1954. In later years, Don enlisted in the Air National Guard as a radio operator and served with the 228 th Air Refueling Wing for six years as a Tech Sergeant. Following his tour of duty in the Korean War, Don worked for South Central Bell and later moved to the Tennessee Valley Authority. He worked as a communications specialist at Watts Bar, Bull Run, and Volunteer substation until his retirement. After retiring from TVA, Don worked for US West and Mesa Associates for several years. He also worked for more than 40 years at the University of Tennessee, at Stokely Athletic Center, Thompson-Boling Arena, and Neyland Stadium. He began as a ticket taker and then became a gate supervisor.
Don is survived by his daughters, Diane (Mark) McNeil of Knoxville, Malinda (Jeff) Wood, and Barbara (Fred) Bullock of Clinton.
He is also predeceased by his grandson, Zachary Wood, and survived by grandchildren Jordan (Mallory) Wood of Rocky Top, Lucas (Tori) Wood of Appleton, WI, Trevor (Olivia) Bullock, and Katie (Paul) Abercrombie of Clinton. He is survived by great grandchildren Sara, Corbin, Ellie Mae, Nash, Jocie, and Boone. He will be dearly missed by other relatives and friends he made over the years.
Receiving of friends will be at Holley-Gamble Funeral home in Clinton, TN on Friday, June 4, 2021 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm, with a funeral service immediately following for Don and Betty. Rev. Don Thomas is officiating. A service with full military honors, for immediate and extended family will be held at the East Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery Chapel, 2200 E. Governor John Sevier Hwy. on June 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements. holleygamble.com