C. Samuel Gray, 82, a longtime Wheaton resident since 1948 died in his Wheaton home on January 20, 2013 survived by Charleen Wheeler Gray, his wife of ten years.
He is also survived by his children, Charles Gray (Deonne), Elizabeth Gray, William Gray (Charlotte), and Rebecca Gray Jordan (Tom), and by his grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and step-greatgrandchild. He was preceeded in death by his first wife, D. Jean (Forquer) Gray, in 1991.
Sam Gray was perhaps best known for his executive leadership at Christian Service Brigade, a non-profit Christian ministry dedicated to equipping today’s men to raise up the next generation. He worked at Christian Service Brigade (CSB) for over 41 years.
Sam started as the editor of many publications and later became the Director of Publications. Eventually, he served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1970-1991. In that role he was respected for his steady leadership and his strong dedication to conservative fiscal management. He continued in an executive capacity until he retired from the organization in 1995.
He was born May 18, 1930 in Barberton, Ohio and was the only child of Samuel and Grace (Clemans) Gray. He was a 1948 graduate of Kenmore High School in Akron, Ohio. He entered Wheaton College where he graduated with honors in 1952 and was the leading scorer on the men’s soccer team.
He married Jean in 1953, attended the Wheaton College Graduate School, and became an ordained minister. He then later enrolled in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago where he earned an MBA degree in 1974.
After graduation from Wheaton College, Sam and Jean settled in Wheaton and were actively involved in the community. They were members and local missionaries of College Church in Wheaton for many decades.
Sam was a longtime member of the College Church Choir and the conductor of the High School Choir at the church from 1973-1980. He often attended a Greek New Testament Sunday school class and frequently taught Sunday school classes or led worship at the church.
Later, he volunteered as a program director for the church group of senior adults over 50. For many decades he also volunteered as a youth leader, serving faithfully every Wednesday night with the Christian Service Brigade group at College Church.
Post retirement, Sam was an active member of the Wheaton College Alumni Association from 1993-1998. He served as The Wheaton College Alumni Board President from 1996-1998 and was the Wheaton College Class of 1952 Representative for many years.
He was also an active music advocate in the Wheaton community. In 1979 he was a founding member of a large community chorus called the West Suburban Choral Union. He served as its president for 20 years from 1979-1999, winning a Wheaton community award for his leadership and community involvement.
A public memorial service will be held at College Church in Wheaton at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, January 24, 2013. Visitation with family and friends will follow the service and continue until 9:00 p.m. Burial will be private at Chapel Hill Gardens West in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Donations may be made to Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, or to Christian Service Brigade, Wheaton, Illinois.