Victor E. Gray, 77, of Gettysburg, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at home. He was the loving husband of Sandra L. Gray; together they shared 41 wonderful years together.
Born Tuesday, Aug. 17, 1943, in Manhattan, N.Y., he was a son of the late Dr. Arthur A. and Ida Gray.
Victor was born and raised in the Bronx until he graduated from aviation high school where his passion for flying was ignited. Upon graduation he promptly joined the United States Air Force to fulfill his dream of learning to fly. From there he attended flight school in Reno, Nevada, where he obtained his commercial pilot’s license in 1967.
His journey “landed” him a position at the oldest helicopter company in the United States (Ag-Rotors Inc.) There he instructed and supervised pilots and mentored generations to follow. He was a major contributor to the control of forest fire suppression efforts on the East and West Coasts. He was an accomplished International pilot flying in South America as well as in the United States.
In 2000, Victor led a team of agricultural pilots to be awarded the industry-wide “Igor I. Sikorsky Award” for humanitarian service while spraying for the West Nile Virus outbreak in New York City. During that time, he attended daily briefings in the Twin Towers with the then-mayor, Rudolph Giuliani. He was instrumental in spraying the Susquehanna River for black fly control since its inception. He started his career giving tours over the battlefields of Gettysburg finished out his lifetime career as director of operations.
In 1978, he met and later married his beloved wife, Sandra Gray. They resided in Gettysburg where they raised three children who admire and love him deeply. In retirement you would often find Vic wearing Hawaiian shirts or Jets jerseys. He enjoyed spending his time travelling with Sandy, visiting his family in New York, gardening, and barbecuing. He loved sports especially football and would proudly proclaim to be the New York Jets. biggest fan. He was an amazing man who lived an amazing life and was loved by all who knew him.
In addition to his wife, Victor is survived by three children, Christian Hays of Gettysburg, Gretchen Hays of Gettysburg, and Grayson Hays of Quakertown; a sister, Pamila Gray of New York, N.Y.; two nieces, Nichole Gray, and Heather Gray; a cousin Glen Lawson; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many loving extended family members and cherished friends.
In addition to his parents, Vic was preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Arthur A. Gray Jr.
There will be no public viewing. Following cremation, the family will have a memorial service to celebrate the life of Victor in August.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Adams County SPCA, 11 Goldenville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
To share memories of Victor E. Gray, please visit www.petersfuneralhome.com.