Cover photo for Charles F. Gray Jr.'s Obituary
Charles F. Gray Jr. Profile Photo
1922 Charles 2016

Charles F. Gray Jr.

June 15, 1922 — August 6, 2016

Charles "Charlie" Files Gray, Jr. was born in Sacramento CA on June 15, 1922, the son of Charles Files Gray and Jessie Carmen Seed. He was a lifetime resident of Sacramento where he was married to Betty Nicolaus for over 61 years. Charlie is survived by his two sons - Garry and his wife Linda, and Steve and his wife Carole. He is also survived by his four grandchildren: Natalie, Alex, Joe and Paul, sister Jessie and husband Dave Emanuel. Charlie attended local Sacramento schools. After serving in the US Air Force in WWII where he attained the rank of Captain, he graduated from UC Berkeley Phi Beta Kappa and Boalt Hall School of Law with Order of Coif, the highest scholastic honorary society for a law student in 1949. Upon graduation, Charlie returned to Sacramento where he practiced law for 60 years in partnership with Thomas MacBride, then with Richard Thurn and finally in an individual law practice continuing to support long time clients. In addition to his law practice Charlie served as Assistant Dean and Professor at McGeorge School of Law. Charlie was involved in numerous civic activities including past President of Sacramento #1 20-30 Club, County Bar Association, Rotary Club, and Grandfathers Club. He was twice Senior Warden of Trinity Cathedral, and held directorships in more than a dozen organizations and charities. Charlie had a long time volunteer relationship with the YMCA on the Regional and National levels. His service culminated with his election to the National Board where he was instrumental in reducing the Association's debt in the 1970s, eliminating the last vestiges of "separate but equal" facilities in the southern US, promoting greater participation of minorities on the local, regional and national levels, and modernizing national administrative facilities. Throughout his academic, military, legal and civic career, Charlie was known as a leader, and was recognized in Who's Who among outstanding Americans, Executives and Professionals. He enjoyed politics and together with his wife Betty entertained many Republican leaders including future President, Ronald Reagan. At the same time, Charlie was a supremely gregarious, helpful and entertaining individual, which earned him the nickname "Good Time Charlie". He loved making new friends, directing and starring in skits, telling stories and jokes, attending holiday family gatherings and sporting events especially 49ers and Cal, playing golf and entertaining at Del Paso Country Club, and making a point of never missing a party. He was a loving and attentive husband, father, grandfather and brother who would tell you his greatest achievement was as a caregiver to his beloved wife, Betty, in her final years who had devoted her life to supporting him. In lieu of flowers contributions in his memory may be made to the YMCA or a charity of your choice . A celebration of his life will be held on September 10, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral Church, 2620 Capital Avenue.
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