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Joel Thomas Gray

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Joel was born Dec. 24, 1926 in Wills Point and entered into eternal rest in Mabank Aug. 6, 2018. Joel was preceded in death by his parents Eugene and Ruby Gray, fi rst wife Gladys Hyde, baby boy Gray, brothers and sisters-in-law Ralph and Dorothy Gray and Lewis and Aileen Gray, sister-in-law Dorothy Crow and brother-in-law Johnny Crow. He was a long time resident of Mabank and a graduate of Mabank High School in 1943. He was a veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S. Navy in Wake Island, earning three battle stars. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Joel later married his sweetheart Gladys in 1948. They lived in Dallas for almost 20 years. He worked for the Universal Corporation, then later for Manas Bakery and Safeway Food Stores as a truck driver, earning the One Million Mile Safety Award. Betty Jo, their only daughter was born in 1953. She’s gifted and talented and a pleasure to be around. The family moved back home in 1967 and built their home on FM 47. They joined the First Baptist Church of Mabank shortly afterwards, where he served as a deacon and teacher of young boys for many years. He took on another job after retirement as a cattleman. After 47 years of marriage, Gladys passed away. In 1998 Joel came riding up on a green John Deere tractor and stole Elizabeth’s heart. They married Aug. 9, 1998. Looking back on his life he was proudest of Gladys and Betty Jo, his home, his church, his distinguished career and Elizabeth. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth, daughter Betty Gray and husband Wesley McGlaun, only sister Wynonia Brewer, brother Kenneth Gray and wife Margaret, nieces Nancy DuBose, Beverly Fulfer, Peggy Broyles, nephews John W. Crow and Bill Crow, sister-in-law Janey Crow and brother-law J.C. Crow along with Gladys’ family and longtime friends.