Richard Gray (1952-2021)
GRAY, HUNEMILLER, EMERSON
Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 9/8/2021 at 08:17:23
Obituary for Richard Gray
Richard Gray will be remembered for his groundbreaking research work in the field of Cellular Neurophysiology at the University of Texas at Austin. At the age of 68, Richard passed away at home near Miles Iowa. A graveside inurnment will be held at a future date in the Sterling Cemetery, rural Sabula, Iowa. Memorials may be given in Richard's honor to Jackson County Hospice, or a scholarship at the University of Texas Center for Learning and Memory.
Richard was born November 28, 1952 in Savanna, IL, the son of Kenneth and Vera (Hunemiller) Gray. He grew up on the family-homestead and century farm near Miles, learning many hands-on skills that he later used in his research, "He could fix anything!" After graduating from the Miles High School in 1970, he attended Northwestern University, then received his Bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois in Champaign, and went on to Baylor College of Medicine where he received his Doctorate in Neurophysiology.
Richard worked as an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and later at the University of Texas at Austin for fifteen years. He was well-known as an exemplary and selfless mentor helping many graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and other faculty members get started in their research. Richard studied individual neurons in the brain in trying to understand diseases such as epilepsy and mental retardation. His research was his life, giving him an unending pursuit and many close friends along the way, including his research mentor of forty years, Dan Johnston, PhD. Dan would say, "His biggest impact was sharing his time and brilliance to help other researchers, he was selfless." Richard was a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Biophysical Society. He helped establish the Center for Learning and Memory at the University of Texas at Austin. Even with all of this in his life, Richard always kept up on the events back home in Sabula and Miles, Iowa. He was proud of his roots. Richard believed in giving his time, talent and treasure, helping support a dog rescue and also an elementary school in Texas.
Richard will be dearly missed by his sister, Norma (Jim) Emerson of Tavares, Florida and many close associates in his research field. He is preceded in death by both parents.
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