Feb. 19, 1947 — Jan. 18, 2013
California has lost one of the best Landscape Designers. John (Jay) Gray passed away Jan. 18, 2013, at Modesto Memorial Hospital after a month’s battle with infectious diseases and kidney failure.
John was born in Oakland on Feb. 19, 1947, to John and Maryann Gray of Sonora. Raised in Sonora, he graduated from Sonora High School in 1964, and went on to graduate from UC Davis in 1969 with a degree in plant science.
His father’s ancestry was Scottish and John spent summers in the ’80s getting to know the people of Scotland and their gardens. He conducted garden tours there and in Ireland, and also managed to get in an occasional round of golf and dip a fly line in one of the many famous streams. He often said that “Going back to Scotland every summer was like going home, a déjà vu of sorts. Everything became more alive and recent and I enjoyed every moment.” He will be missed by his friends here and across the pond.
He leaves two sons, Jedidiah of Washington, D.C., and Zachary of Manteca, and a daughter Isabel of Manteca; sister Janice Moon of San Andreas; and cousin Lynn Bahten of Jamestown. Also living are his three former wives; Sue Gray of Davis, Anne Lincoln of Davis and Rebecca Gray of Ceres.
He was predeceased by his father in 1978 and his mother in 2001.
Services will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Modesto Garden Club, 622 14th St. in Modesto, and at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, at the Episcopal Church of St. Martin, 540 Hawthorne St. in Davis.
In lieu of flowers, John wishes for any remembrances be directed to the Educational Trust Fund for the Gray Children at El Dorado Savings in San Andreas (make checks payable to El Dorado Savings — Janice Moon, Custodian) P.O. Box 697 San Andreas, CA 95249; Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616; or The National Trust for Scotland, 28 Charlotte Square Wemyss House, Edinburgh, Scotland UK EH24ET.
“Blythe to meet, wae to part. Blythe to meet aince mair.”
(Happy to meet, sorrowful to part, happy to meet once more.)
— Gaelic toast