October 6, 1938 – March 15, 2021
Walter Edwin Gray passed away on March 15, 2021, at the age of 82 at Wyoming Medical Center surrounded by family. Walter was born in Sheridan, WY on October 6, 1938 to Ben Gray and Aileen (Jennings) Gray. After the death of his father, Aileen married Joseph Milner and raised their families together. He grew up in Big Goose and Sheridan. He attended Sheridan High School where he met Mollie Urmson, his high school sweetheart. They married on October 6, 1958.
Walter pursued his education at the University of Wyoming to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education in order to teach math and science. Walter moved his family to Dayton, WY where he began teaching at Tongue River HS in 1963. He renovated the football field for better performance and created a strong athletic program. He loved football and coached for 50 years at TRHS and Big Horn HS. His aftergame interviews were fun to listen to as he often mixed up his cliches: “That was the needle that broke the camel’s back!” He also coached other sports and spent time as a referee in his off seasons. He loved coaching his grandchildren and spending time with his great grandchildren. He never could remember where the Easter bunny hid all the eggs for them! He also loved to play golf, spend time at the cabin and being with his family.
Walter later went on to earn a master’s degree in Technology from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Walter also attended numerous summer school sessions, taking his family with him to Kansas and South Carolina, leaving at 3AM and not stopping until the destination was reached!
Walter absolutely loved teaching and coaching. Teaching his students and athletes to be leaders, to work together and to value respect were some of his greatest achievements. He was inducted into the WHSAA Coaches Hall of Fame in 1985 and won many regional and state titles with his athletes. In 2013, he received a Career Achievement Award from the National Football Federation for 50 years of service to high school football coaching.
Walter is survived by his wife, Mollie, his daughters: Susan (Don) Sharkey, Lisa Gray, Robin Gray Dockery, his grandchildren: Jacilyn Garrison (Zac), Kristopher Dockery (Leah), Tanner Dockery (Whitney), Lane Dockery, Dylan Sharkey, Emily (Jacob) Palo, Zoe Gray and his great-grandchildren: Alexis, Jordan, William, and Brice Garrison, Skylar Dockery, and numerous nieces and nephews and his beloved dog, Lucy. He is predeceased by his brother Paul Gray, his parents Joe and Aileen Milner, and his beloved cat Squeaker. Walter always told his family, when they were being particularly ornery, “You’re going to miss me someday.” He was absolutely right.
A celebration of life will be held June 19, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. in Dayton at the TRHS football field or TR Valley Community Center. In lieu of flowers, Walt wanted to make sure his great grandchildren could further their education. If you would like to donate, make checks payable to Robin Dockery/Walt Gray Memorial and send to Cowboy State Bank in Ranchester, WY.