October 2, 1953 ~ February 6, 2024 (age 70) 70 Years Old


Robert Leslie Gray was born October 2, 1953, at Kansas University Medical Center to his parents, the late Leonard E. Gray, Sr., and Paralee (Allen) Gray. 

Robert attended Kansas City Kansas Public Schools; Douglass Elementary School, Dunbar Elementary School, Hawthorne Elementary School, Northwest Jr. High School and graduated from Wyandotte High School in the class of 1971. He attended California State Polytechnic University-Pomona before transferring to Wichita State University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts-Education degree before further pursuing his education endeavors by earning an Associate of Science-Engineering degree from Kansas City Kansas Community College and continuing Engineering courses at Johnson County Community College. Robert enjoyed mentoring and coaching, both professionally on the job and the basketball court. He also worked in the architectural, engineering and construction industry for over 18 years.

He was always inquisitive and curious as to how things worked, especially the household appliances and television. He was about ten years old when our father returned home from work to find that Robert had taken the television apart. Before leaving to buy a new television, Robert assured him he could put it back together…and he did! He was active in youth baseball and basketball, served as a member of the Boy Scouts and played the clarinet in the school band through junior high school. His older brother Leonard “Hugie” Gray began to take him along to play pick-up games on the school ground where he continued to improve his skills while competing against the older players in the community. He played on his junior high school teams and won city championships and was on the Wyandotte High School basketball teams from 1968-69 through 1970-71 seasons, winning a state championship in 1970. He continued to compete in college at California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, then transferring to Wichita State University where they had extremely competitive teams, winning the Missouri Valley Conference title before competing in the first round of the NCAA championship tournament. He was drafted by the NBA Seattle Supersonics in 1976 and shared a brief time on the same team with his brother Leonard. He was a phenomenal guard known for his shooting accuracy from the baseline or from downtown! He also enjoyed cooking and had numerous culinary skills including grilling and baking bread.

Robert was a member of St. Peter’s C.M.E. during his youth and later become a member at the former Western Highland’s Presbyterian Church as a teenager where he helped with the youth basketball program. He maintained his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.

He is survived by his sisters; Pamela Gray-Sublett, Lynne Gray, Phyllis Gray-Tummings (Michael) and Melanie Fortune (Darryll). Nephews and nieces; Omari Hopkins-Navies, Leonard Gray III, Joilynn Walsh, Kaylee Edwards, Wayne Harris, David Paris, Austin Paris, Brandon Paris, Ashley Paris, Courtney Paris, Michaela Tummings, Grayson Tummings, Nicole Fortune, and Dominique Fortune along with a host of grand nephews and nieces, cousins, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his parents; Leonard E. Gray, Sr. and Paralee (Allen) Gray, paternal grandparents; Harrison Gray and Beatrice (Thurman) Gray, maternal grandparents; Jim Allen and Edna (Hood) Allen, and brothers Kenneth Harris and Leonard Gray, Jr.  Robert pursued life much like he thrived in his educational pursuits, professional endeavors, and athletic competitiveness; playing tough whether he was 40 points up, 40 points down or had 40 seconds to go in the game. He kept going until the whistle blew! He is now one of our angels along with our parents and brothers!

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February 17, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
St. Peter C.M.E Church
1419 N 8th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101

Memorial Service
February 17, 2024

2:00 PM
St. Peter C.M.E Church
1419 N 8th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101


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