John “Jack” Harley Gray, M.D., age 87, of Neenah, Wisconsin, died peacefully at his home Monday, June 22, 2020, surrounded by his family.

John “Jack” Harley Gray

John “Jack” Harley Gray

Jack was born November 11, 1932, in Ripon, Wisconsin, the son of George Robert and Olive Ruth (Buchholz) Gray. He attended and graduated from Ripon public schools. He went on to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy, graduating in 1954.

On July 25, 1954, Jack married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Anne Kollath, daughter of Bernard “Ben” and Eda Kollath, in Ripon, Wisconsin.

He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and was commissioned as an officer in the US Army in 1957. After graduating medical school in 1958, Jack completed his internship in General Surgery at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. From there, he did his surgical residency in Fort Lewis, Washington, at Madigan General Hospital. He continued to serve at various Army hospitals across the U.S., including an overseas tour of duty in South Korea, until he retired from active duty in 1968.

Jack and Shirley moved their family to Neenah in 1968, where he began his civilian career as a general surgeon with the Twin Cities Clinic. Jack was one of the founders of Nicolet Clinic, formed after a merger with Riverside Clinic, and was an integral part of further growth as the multi-specialty clinic evolved into LaSalle Clinic, and later, Affinity Medical Group. Jack rejoined the US Army as an active reservist in 1981 and served overseas during Desert Storm, prior to retiring as a colonel in 1992. After 27 years, Jack retired from his general surgery practice in Neenah in 1994.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, mother and father-in-law, a brother, George Robert Gray, Jr., and his in-laws, Gladys (Smith) Gray, Virginia (Kollath) Somers, and Lorraine (Kollath) Buchholz. Survivors include his loving wife of 65 years, Shirley; his daughters, Pamela Gray of Eau Claire, Barbara (William) Barry of Appleton, Catherine (Thomas) Wood of Greendale, Emily (Mark) Robinson of Milton, and Nancy (David) Priest of Neenah. Jack is also survived by his brother, David (Judy) Gray of Ripon, and fifteen grandchildren: John, Christopher, Andrew and Lydia Barry; Megan (Nick) Vranes, Matthew, David and Abigail Wood; Benjamin, Samuel and Nicholas Robinson; Stephen, Thomas, Hannah and Daniel Priest. Jack is further survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Having played many sports in high school, Jack remained an avid fan of baseball, basketball, football and golf, and was a lifetime Badgers, Packers and Brewers fan. In his retirement, he particularly loved both golf and travel, spending winters in warmer climates, and enjoying trips with his wife and friends, as well as several with the children and grandchildren. He was an active member of St. Thomas Church, Menasha, American Legion, Winnebago County Medical Society and Ridgeway Country Club.

Visitation for Jack will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 26 at Westgor Funeral Home, 205 W. Doty Avenue, Neenah, WI 54956.

At Westgor Funeral Home your safety is still our concern. Please respectfully maintain physical distancing when entering our facilities. Masks are provided for those that need one. Try to limit any physical contact with families. We appreciate your understanding during this time.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, a private funeral service will be held on Saturday June 27, 2020 at St. Thomas Church, Menasha, WI.  Military honors and a Christian burial at Oakhill Cemetery will follow.  For those who would like to join via livestream, please connect at at 11:30 a.m.   

Memorials in Jack’s name may be made to St. Thomas Church, the American Legion Post 33, and Compassus.

The family would like to extend a special and sincere thank you to Dr. Patrick Mannebach, Dr. Todd Talbot, and the staff at Compassus hospice, for their kindness, care and compassion.

“There are no goodbyes. Wherever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Westgor Funeral Home

402 W. Doty Ave; 722-7151


Recommended for you