Earl W. Gray, 71, son of William and Thelma Leigh Gray, was born April 2, 1933, at Peach Orchard. He died Aug. 18, 2004, at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.He served in the Army from 1955 to 1957 in the Korean War and received the Good Conduct Medal. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for more than 20 years and the American Legion for 23 years.He married Novella Barton in July 1957 in St. Louis. Between them, they had five children.The Grays lived for several years in St. Louis, where Mr. Gray was an auto mechanic and worked for the railroad. He moved his family to Raymondville in 1966, where he opened a service station, garage and restaurant. In 1975, he opened the Houston Community Auction Barn. He semi-retired from the auction business in 1988 due to health problems.He was preceded in death by his mother; one brother, Jerry; one grandchild and one great-grandchild.Surviving are his wife of the home; four daughters, Zhelma McGuire of Raymondville, Elizabeth Wellman of Brook, Ind., Beverly Cicenas of Valparaiso, Ind., and Samantha Seaman of Eugene, Ore.; one son, Thomas of Houston, Texas; his father and stepmother, William and Louise, of O’Fallon, Ill.; one brother, Lloyd Gray of Mexico, Mo.; one sister, Judy Layman of Belleville, Ill.; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.Services were Aug. 23 at the Evans Funeral Home Chapel with Terry Snelling officiating. Burial was in the Friendship Cemetery. “

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