Tom Gray (67) left this life in Farmington, NM. After an initial diagnosis in 2010, Tom valiantly fought through three different forms of bone marrow cancer, finally succumbing on Christmas Day to an acute form of leukemia. His wife, Cindy (Sluyter Burton), was with him, holding his hand, as she had been for the last 28 years.
Tom was born September 22, 1953 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma to Jack Richard Gray and Freda Jo Jessup Gray. He is survived by his older siblings James (Jim) Melvin Gray and Jane Ann (Gray) Farmer as well as his adopted Burton family and extended family coast to coast.
From an early age Tom enjoyed many outings duck hunting and fishing with his Dad, uncle and brother. Tom attended all his educational grades in Bartlesville and graduated from Sooner High School in 1971. He enjoyed keeping up with those many high school friends through the years. Tom started playing golf at the age of 10, winning many local and State tournaments during his younger years. This talent provided a full golf athletic scholarship to the University of Tulsa where he graduated with a degree in Business Management and Marketing.
He spent the majority of his career in various aspects of the oil and gas industry, most notably inspecting, regulating and certifying a variety of fueling installations. With these years of expertise, he led a team to review and rewrite State Regulations for the Petroleum Storage Tank Bureau to align the State with Federal requirements.
After retirement from the New Mexico Environment Department in 2015, his focus was his
wife, pets and orchards in Mancos, CO. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying riding his ATVs and working in his prized orchards. At the time of his death, he was an active Board Member of the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project.
All who knew Tom, professionally, as friend, or as family, benefited from his kind, gentle and giving nature. When Tom shook your hand or made you a promise, you knew you could count on him. He touched so many lives in so many positive ways throughout his life. The empty place he leaves behind is quickly filled with the heartwarming memories of many grateful people.
Celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s memory can be given to:
Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project
For Pets Sake Humane Society