Dr. Patrick Bruce McNeil Gray, 94, husband of the late Dora Mary Wilson Gray and a resident of Pungoteague, Virginia passed away Saturday February 5, 2022 at his beloved home on the water surrounded by his children and dear friends. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland on July 20, 1927 to the late Dr. James Smith McLean Gray and Margaret Macmurrich Gray. Dr. Gray is survived by his four children, Simon Gray of Wooster, Ohio, Nicholas Gray of Ellicott City, Maryland, Jennifer LaRuffa of Chesterfield, Virginia, and Christopher Gray of Winchester, Virginia, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, who affectionately called him “Great!”. He was a member of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Pungoteague, Virginia.
Dr. Gray received his medical degree in Psychiatry from Glasgow University in Scotland and devoted his career to treating mental illness. After moving to the United States, he practiced medicine in Williamsburg and Philadelphia before settling in the Winchester, Virginia area. He had a private practice for over 40 years in Winchester and treated patients at Winchester Memorial Hospital. In 1972, he and Dora moved to Willowbrook Farm in Mountain Falls, Virginia where in his “spare” time he put in a large vegetable garden, had a milk cow and chickens, and raised hogs and beef cattle. In 1993, he and Dora moved to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a place they fell in love with while on fishing vacations, settling at Creekside in Pungoteague. He continued in private practice and saw patients at Shore Memorial Hospital. He became Medical Director of the Community Services Board in Parksley in 1996 and retired in 2006. The standards he set for himself were high, and he expected those around him to aspire to those same standards. He was a man of few words, but those words were well-chosen and conveyed his integrity, earning him respect from those who knew and worked with him. He had a dry humor and quick wit that would emerge most unexpectedly.
He was filled with curiosity and read widely. He took his family on weekend “Ripoff Tours” including trips to collect fossils, go down a coal mine, and see the radio telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia. He loved gardening and looked forward every spring to the arrival of many seed catalogues. Each would be read cover-to-cover several times before deciding which seeds he would plant in that year’s vegetable and flower gardens. He took quiet pleasure in “puttering about” and greatly enjoyed feeding the birds. He had a platform put up at the water’s edge for an Osprey nest. A pair returned each year, and we all received regular updates on the status of the eggs and then the chicks. Love of rural living was a theme of his life that gave his children happy memories and important life experiences.
A memorial service will be held at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Pungoteague on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., with The Reverend Philip Bjornberg officiating.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Foodbank of the Eastern Shore, P.O. Box 518, Onley, VA 23418 (www.foodbankonline.org/give).
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.