Alan (Al) Gray
Al’s mortal journey ended on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. He will be missed by his wife, Elsa, his sister, Diane Gray Murach, nine children, twenty grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.
Al was born in Seattle, Washington to Esther Hermina Mortenson and Aldon Andrew Gray. As a youth, Al developed interests that would greatly influence his life. He attended Queen Anne and Roosevelt High Schools, where he began a lifelong love of sports as he participated on both the baseball and basketball teams. Also, as a young child, he frequently rode with his father in his bus as he organized sightseeing trips for tour groups. This sparked his spirit of adventure and later in life, Al was the leader of a large travel group called The Spirit of Utah, which visited over 80 nations.
While attending Brigham Young University, he met and married Elsa Mykol in 1958. They settled in Seattle, Washington, and Al began a 38-year long career with Albertson’s Food Centers (1958-1996), holding several management positions, the last as Vice President of the Utah Division.
Throughout his life he faithfully served in many callings, including Bishoprics, the High Council, Quorums and Groups, a youth teacher, and a three-year service mission at the Church Conference Center. Of his service he said, “We have witnessed hardened hearts soften, tears of joy shed, and people’s lives changed when exposed to the spirit found in the Conference Center”. He was also a diligent home teacher and pledged to try his best to never miss a monthly contact with his home teaching families.
His final wishes were “At a time when we reflect upon our life’s work, it would be nice to have each of us covenant to restore and forgive any broken relationships we have with one another.”
There will be a viewing in Al's honor Friday, November 13, 2020 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Gardens, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South) Sandy, UT. Private family funeral services will be held. Please share a memory or thought of condolence with the family at larkincares.com.
In lieu of flowers, take your family somewhere and discover our beautiful world.
Life Story Info
I recall many dinners out when Al would embarrass everyone with his constant dad-jokes and banter with the wait staff. I think the waitresses enjoyed the interaction, though, and we always got great service. He had a good sense of humor and was always kind to me and offered guidance when we needed it. He will be missed.
I remember a long trip we took in the motorhome. We stopped at every amusement park from Utah to California. My dad went on every ride with us, even the roller coasters that went upside down. To this day I know all the words to the Oakridge Boys, Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton songs that were play during that trip. "Elvira, Elvira, My hearts on fire Elvira, Giddy up oom poppa omm poppa mow mow, Heigh-ho silver away"!!
I have fond memories of my youth living in Seattle, as we attended Sonic, Seahawk, or Mariners games. Almost every time we would visit pre-game a restaurant that delivered your food via a model train.
My dad would also surprise me sometimes with late Christmas gifts after the morning present opening, and ask me to get firewood, and there by the logs was the K2 snow ski's that were not under the tree, or the Schwinn bicycle I had wanted.
In Salt Lake he took me to the Final Four NCAA game when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird competed before becoming NBA greats. Throughout our life he would take us on many vacation trips, like Disney Resorts or Cannon Beach, Oregon along with Jazz games, and front row seats at the 1993 NBA All-Star game were Karl Malone and John Stockton were awarded Co-MVP.
Thank you Dad for all the happy memories. You will be missed by all who knew you.
Aaron Gray (4th of his 9 children)
He used to take us out shopping the day after Christmas and gave us several dollars times our age to get whatever we we didn't get from Santa, which somehow was almost always school clothes. It was such a fond memory that I started the same tradition with my kids, although I let them pick out whatever they want. :) Miss you dad, thanks for the memories!