2021-12-30-11-49-36_al-gray.website.jpg
2022-01-03-09-02-50_al-black-and-for-website.jpg
A celebration of Al's life will be held in the future in Medicine Hat. His ashes will be buried in the family plot at Pembroke Cemetery, Woodstock, New Brunswick.
In memory of
Allison Gray
August 12, 1935 - December 27, 2021 - Age 86

It is with great sadness that the family of Allison Hazen Gray announce his death on December 27, 2021 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Al was born August 12, 1935 in Woodstock, New Brunswick Of Loyalist stock, he was the only child of Hazen Hartford Gray and Alice Grace Elizabeth Wiggins. He received his honours BSc and MSc degrees in chemistry at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

As an undergraduate at Mount A, he met fellow student Elaine Mahase, a beautiful and talented young woman from the West Indies. They married at her home in Trinidad in 1958 and Al went on to complete his Ph.D in organic chemistry at the University of New Brunswick. Their first two children, Susan and Rodney, were born in Fredericton. After completing his PhD, Al worked as a scientist with Domtar in Montreal , where their third child, Daryl, was born.

In 1964, the opportunity to carry out cancer research brought Al, with his family, to the University of Wisconsin (Madison), where he took up a post-doctoral fellowship in organic chemistry. The University of Wisconsin was a hothouse of intellectual scholarship and he was able to study and work with some of the great scientific minds of the time. At the end of his fellowship, the University offered Al a permanent faculty position. He declined this huge honour because he wanted his children to grow up as Canadians. Instead, in 1965, he accepted a position with the Canadian Department of National Defence, as a scientist at DRES (the Defence Research Establishment Suffield), Alberta.

The family lived in Ralston until 1975, when they moved to Medicine Hat. Al worked at DRES for nearly 30 years, retiring in the mid-nineties to start a private chemical consulting company called Chemboss.

Al had a passion for knowledge and ideas. His mind never stopped moving. He was fascinated by science, photography, languages, poetry, music, world religions and cultures. He always kept up with the latest technological advances in electronics and computers. Al loved flying and piloted the family all over Canada.

From the mid-sixties, Al owned horses. Countless people rode or learned to ride on the family’s property in the rolling prairie near Redcliff. And Al would always let experienced riders use his best horse.

Al’s love for the arts was well known. He acted in local theatre and played the saxophone in many local ensembles including the Medicine Hat College Jazz Band, the Medicine Hat Concert Band, and the Medicine Hat Dixieland Jazz band. Al joined the Medicine Hat Rotary Club where he made significant contributions to the community and to the Club’s newsletter. He spent many hours fundraising and volunteering at the Rotary Music Festival.

Al’s support for those he loved was limitless, and his encouragement for his children and his grandchildren (Alexandra, David, Michael, Samuel, Christopher, Jonny, and Katherine) to do everything and anything they dreamed of doing, is his most important legacy. Al’s smile was wide and his laughter filled the room. His heart and love had infinite capacity.

The family deeply thanks the staff at Riverview for their care and compassion, especially in Al’s final months. Warm thanks also to Preston Sloan for his commitment, Extended Family Services, and special friends, including Jan and Bruce Dynes.

Printer Friendly Version
Message from Janet Laing December 29, 2021
What sad news!. A great loss. My deepest sympathies to each of you.
Janet Laing
Message from Larry Chow December 29, 2021
Our condolences to the Gray Family. Dr. Al Gray was a larger than life man that always had time to teach is how to think. Rest in peace Dr. Gray.
Larry Chow
Message from Bob Schmidt December 29, 2021
Saddened to hear the news of Dr Gray. It has been many years since I had seen him but fondly remember the discussions and tea drinking. Condolences from the Schmidt family.
Bob Schmidt
Message from Bernadette Kinch December 29, 2021
Very sorry to hear of Mr Gray’s passing. We were neighbors for many years. With Covid restrictions we had lost track of he and Elaine but they were good neighbors to us. I was out shoveling my sidewalk yesterday and thought of he and Elaine. Our condolences to their family. He was very proud of his children.
Bernadette Kinch
Message from Barry Onslow December 29, 2021
My condolences to Elaine, Susan, Rodney, Daryl, and other family members.

A chemist by profession, a cowboy by heart, a fine story teller by desire.

He will be missed.
Barry Onslow
Message from Vernon Fedor December 30, 2021
Al Gray was one of the most interesting person I have met or known. You could have an intelligent conversation with him from anything from Politics to Pottery to Horses and Rattlesnakes. We spend many noon hours at the Officer's Mess discussing world issues, hobbies, local politics and DRES/DRB in general. Al Gray basically started the field program for Chemical Incident Response Team and it was a pleasure working with him on this program and a couple of others. I was honoured when I asked that he attend my retirement party and he came. My condolences to his family. There is no replacing Al.
Vernon Fedor
Message from The George Ibach family December 30, 2021
Deeply sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you all, and sending prayers from our entire family.
The George Ibach family
Message from Alex Markov December 30, 2021
Very saddened at this news of Al's passing, my deepest condolences to Elaine and family. I knew Al professionally during my days at DRES but I really got to know him through his association with Amtech. He was a remarkable mind, very broad in interests, and both a personal friend and a friend of the company. I will miss him and the many political, philosophical and scientific discussions we had.
Alex Markov
Message from Vicki Glass-I worked with Elaine at Southview School. December 30, 2021
My condolences to Elaine, Susan, Rodney, Daryl, and other family members.
Al was a very proud father and supportive husband. His intelligence, wit and kindnesses will be remembered.
Vicki Glass-I worked with Elaine at Southview School.
Message from Dory and Rob IJsselstein December 31, 2021
Condolences from Dory and Rob IJsselstein. We met Al in 1984 as Dutch visitors living for a year at Hutchinson Court. He took our boys out to his shooting range and let them shoot. We never forgot him.
Dory and Rob IJsselstein
Message from Del Grimm December 31, 2021
I worked at SES/DRES with Al in the 60' to the 80's. He truly is someone hard to forget! A loss to the family and to all of us - he truly was a man of many hats. God Bless you all
Del Grimm
Message from Dick and Linda Bide December 31, 2021
Our condolences to Elaine, Susan, Rodney and Daryl, Al was a warmhearted, interesting fellow. I enjoyed many sessions with him as he taught me much of the practical side of Defence Science. He was also an active Rotarian and contributed regularly to Rotary programs in Medicine Hat.
Dick and Linda Bide
Message from Ruth Letersky December 31, 2021
My sincere condolences to the family of Dr Al Gray. I knew Dr Gray working at DRES and remember him for his smile. It was a pleasure to talk to Dr Gray as he always had time to speak to you even just for a few minutes while passing in a hallway. A wonderful person whom I remember and he will be sadly missed.
Ruth Letersky
Ruth Letersky
Message from Robin G. Clewley December 31, 2021
My deepest condolences. Al and I were coworkers for only a few years, but both then and thereafter, I always loved hearing his stories about Suffield "back in the old days".
Robin G. Clewley
Message from Bryan Laidlaw December 31, 2021
My condolences to the family. AL, who I had the pleasure of working with at DRES had a rare talent that he applied to enhancing chemical defense training and more specifically in the disposal of nasty residual chemical hazards. One of a kind.
Bryan Laidlaw
Message from Lewis Schile January 01, 2022
Sad to hear of the passing of Doc Gray. I got to know him and Elaine when our children were in figure skating together. Such an interesting man to talk to and whenever we met always had a good conversation together and the subject didn’t matter as he liked to talk about anything. Rest In Peace this world will miss a great person. Thoughts and prayers to Elaine and all the family
Lewis Schile
Message from Michele Patton January 02, 2022
I met Al many years ago playing in the band. We always had such lively conversations and I really enjoyed the times we spent together at band. He had a great zest for life and music. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My sincere condolences to his family. He will be surely missed.
Michele Patton
Message from Gordon Wright January 03, 2022
I propose that any dictionary worth its name post Al's photo -- I prefer the one with the cowboy hat -- next to the expression "Renaissance man." Truly, I have never met another more worthy. Al's search for knowledge was a perpetual labour of love. I am certain his spirit continues to roam multiple other dimensions in search of learning and further understanding. Condolences to all those members of his family tree, family of friendship, family of Rotary and family of man. For having known him, Al has left us all better human beings.
Gordon Wright
Message from Paul Griffiths & Judy Roedding January 03, 2022
We are deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Al Gray’s passing. We loved hearing his stories, his sense of humor and his love of music. Our thoughts and prayers to Elaine and family
Paul Griffiths & Judy Roedding
Message from Eleanor Gummer January 03, 2022
My deepest condolences to the family. I remember becoming part of the “family band” for the Medicine Hat festival and learning to play the bass at an impromptu practice. May he Rest In Peace.
Eleanor Gummer
Message from Eleanor Gummer January 03, 2022
My deepest condolences to the family. I remember becoming part of the “family band” for the Medicine Hat festival and learning to play the bass at an impromptu practice. May he Rest In Peace.
Eleanor Gummer
Message from Bob Wagner January 04, 2022
Sending deepest condolences to the family. Al was the most unique and accomplished person I have ever had the privilege to meet. I remember so many stimulating conversations about any and every topic.
Bob Wagner
Message from Sandra Bodnaruk January 04, 2022
My sincerest condolences to everyone in the Gray family. I never had the chance to meet such a remarkable man. May he rest in peace.
Sandra Bodnaruk
Message from Jobert Sevilleno January 05, 2022
On behalf of the Kindred Spirits Orchestra Members, my deepest and sincere condolences to Rodney and the Gray family.
Jobert Sevilleno
Message from Lynn Adam-Hertz January 06, 2022
Sincere condolences to the family! I met Al through my dad and the jewellery store. He was a pleasure to visit with and always had interesting stories to tell. A truly unique and kind man.
Lynn Adam-Hertz
Message from Jobert Sevilleno January 06, 2022
With Sympathy to you and your family, Rodney.
from your friends ~ Kindred Spirits Orchestra
Jobert Sevilleno
Message from Barb (Kramer) Bieber January 08, 2022
My deepest condolences to the Gray family. I have fond memories of them in Ralston as we lived on the same street; Valcartier Ave. Those were good times. Al will never be forgotten. My prayers go out to the family during this difficult time.
Barb (Kramer) Bieber
Message from Dr. Merv Hamblin and wife Barbara January 10, 2022
I have just learned of the passing of Al, as I am now living in Calgary. Al and I worked together early in our scientific careers at DRES, and often were involved in other ways in our subsequent careers. My thoughts and prayers go out to Elaine and their family.
Dr. Merv Hamblin and wife Barbara
Message from Marvin and Marlene Knodel January 15, 2022
Please accept our most sincere condolences on the passing of Al. I knew him well while I was working at D.R.E.S. He was always very friendly and would always stop to chat with me. He was a great man and will be missed very much.
Marvin and Marlene Knodel
Message from Marlene Biemans RCC Rec Aide January 17, 2022
Privileged to have known Al during his final stages of retirement. A true gentleman of enormous talents. We partook in many diverse conversations, challenged one another with definitions and often shared brief chats together in German. He will genuinely be missed!
Marlene Biemans RCC Rec Aide
Message from Dixie Russill January 17, 2022
My sincerest sympathy to Dr. Gray’s family. I worked at Suffield in the late 60s and 70s and thought he was the nicest man. He always had time to stop for a chat and was always so interesting. He will be missed.
Dixie Russill
Message from Pamela Walcott January 18, 2022
I did not know this gentleman, but I came across his obituary in the newspaper over the weekend. I have contemplated writing a note to his family/friends for the past few days, and today have ultimately decided to go ahead with it.

You ALL must be so very proud of the man he was. This may sound strange but my heart was filled with so much joy while I read his obituary ~ NOT because he passed, but because he LIVED, and because of the great and powerful legacy he left. In fact, just reading about his life has given me a renewed sense of purpose and reminded me that you're never too old to start something new. What a wonderfully accomplished man he was, and what an ambitious and magnificent gift his life gave to our world.

My heartfelt condolences to ALL who knew him and specifically to those who loved him. I can tell he will be very dearly missed ~ my thoughts are with all of you.
Pamela Walcott
Message from Dorene Nevers January 25, 2022
I will never forget how special my cousin, Allison was to me. I remember when the family would visit in New Brunswick when I was young. Sometimes, Allison would fly the family from Ontario to visit the relatives. Then in later years I searched the Gray's out when I moved to Alberta. Had a few very interesting weekends in Medicine Hat with them. I went horseback riding, saw an outdoor theatrical performance where both Elaine and Allison were actors and of course enjoyed the wonderful dinners Elaine cooked. Then there were the long phone conversations between Calgary and Medicine Hat. Just sometime within the past two years I reconnected through Facebook and was so glad I did. He was so pleased to hear from me. The world lost an amazing man....so talented and he had varied levels of interests. Will always be in my memories.
Dorene Nevers
Message from Darrell Mesheau, Fredericton February 07, 2022
I remember Allison as my Sunday School teacher at the Sackville United Church in NB while he was a student at Sackville High School and then at Mount A. His parents attended the Church as well and his mother, Grace Gray, was one of my favourite high school teachers. Allison's interests were eclectic and intense even as a young man, and our discussions in Sunday School were wide-ranging and always held our interest. I'd lost contact but I'm happy to hear my own memories from so long ago reflected in the description of his life I just read in his obituary.
Darrell Mesheau, Fredericton
Message from Doris Wobick February 10, 2022
My sincere sympathy to Allison’s family. He was a popular person wherever he went including ,Valedictorian at his graduation from high school.Music was an important part of his life playing in the high school band and often at social functions . He had great patience which he exhibited teaching me how to drive a car and back a trailer into the orchard.Allison loved a good and lively discussion and challenging opposing views . The world is a better place because of Allison Gray
Farewell my friend
Doris Wobick nee Tracy of Vancouver BC
Doris Wobick
Message from (Major Ret'd) Wayne Sturgeon March 24, 2022
I just discovered Al Gray's passing. My sincerest sympathy to his family. I worked with Al at Suffield from 1989 to 1992. He had great stories to tell. My greatest memory is of the time he took me out to the old field lab to "kill off" (as he referred to it) some old CR riot control agent chemical. After adding the neutralizing agent he had me get a little closer to see if the chemical reaction was proceeding. That was a laugh, really, as I got a whiff of the CR and I suddenly experienced its effects. It was a good learning experience. Al was into role-playing for the military chemical training courses, pretending to be a terrorist named "Excalibur". I drew a cartoon of him as Excalibur that he valued. Al was a good friend. I missed him when I left Suffield. RIP Al. Will miss you always.
(Major Ret'd) Wayne Sturgeon