Cover photo for David Gray's Obituary
David Gray Profile Photo
1941 David 2023

David Gray

January 17, 1941 — December 26, 2023


David L. Gray, 82, passed away at Missouri Slope Care Center on December 26, 2023, following complications from a stroke.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, at First Presbyterian Church, 310 3rd St. NW, Mandan, with Pastor Deanna Reikow officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Burial will be held at the Regent Cemetery, ND.

David was born January 17, 1941, in Regent, ND. He enjoyed music and sports early in life. Some of his most vivid early memories were those spent with his friends and siblings, competing in baseball, basketball, and football. He attended schools in Belfield, Regent, and graduated from Mott High School.

David attended Dickinson State College and considered majors in either music or physical education. It was during college he became motivated by music professors who instilled in him a passion for inspiring others. He graduated with a degree in Music Education and went on to work as a choir and band director for 11 years at Grenora and Mohall, ND and Fairview, MT. 

David met Arlene in 1965, while visiting his parents in Lakeview, OR. Arlene accompanied him for a solo he sang at church. They were married in Dickinson, ND in 1972. Together they raised four children.

If you were involved with public school music in the four-state region from the 1970s to the 1990s, chances are you interacted with David. In 1974, he began work as a sales representative for Eckroth Music, delivering newly purchased instruments, picking up instruments that needed repair, and working at the store. Through this work, he started a beginner’s program for new music students and served as a mentor for many educators around the region.

For more than three decades, David played the French horn in several community bands, the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, and directed the choir at Mandan First Presbyterian Church. He helped raise his children and shared with them qualities he held close – compassion for others, a solid work ethic, humility, a love for artistic expression, and above all, a sense of humor.

David retired from Eckroth Music in 2004. He continued to fulfill his love for bringing joy to people when he took a part-time job, delivering flowers for Robert’s Floral. He enjoyed time with his wife and family, reading, playing puzzles, and video games. Also during this time, he sang with the Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus alongside his son Mark. 

In 2015, a medical procedure left him with paralysis on the left side of his body. Despite the health setback, David prevailed over the shortcoming with his sense of humor and upbeat attitude. He enjoyed taking time to visit with his lifelong friends at their coffee group.

David is survived by his wife, Arlene, Bismarck; sister, Janice Schulz, Bismarck; brother, Lonnie (Ellen), Prineville, OR; children, Mark (Jena), Stephanie (Travis), Brian; all of Bismarck, and Timothy (Kayla), Mandan; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces, and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Sara and Roy Gray; brother, Arlo; brother-in-law, Ervin Schulz; twin sisters, Alice and Ann; and beloved cocker spaniel, Odie. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials donated in David’s memory to the Mandan First Presbyterian Church.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Gray, please visit our flower store.
David Gray Bulletin.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, January 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church in Mandan

310 3rd Ave NW, Mandan, ND 58554


Click to watch

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1849

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree