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Thomas "Tommy" Gray

December 6, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Thomas "Tommy" Gray, age 53, passed away December 2, 2016 at his home in South Lyon, Michigan, surrounded by his family.

Tommy was born July 12, 1963 in Monroe, Michigan. He graduated from Northville High School and later worked at the Ford Wixom Assembly Plant. When not working, Tommy loved spending time with his four children. In 1998, he entered an early medical retirement due to blindness caused by Stargardt's disease. He then moved to Sanibel Island, Florida where he lived for seventeen years, many of which were spent with his guide dog, Jackson.

Tommy and Jackson were a familiar sight on the Island, walking the sidewalks and bike paths, and accumulating more than 7700 walking miles during his stay here. While living on Sanibel, Tommy joined the Sanibel Captiva Lions Club, where he became an active participant in club activities, in spite of his handicap. The local Lions Club helped Tommy obtain his first guide dog, Jackson, and Tommy repaid the kindness by working with other blind people in assisting them to obtain and utilize their guide dogs.

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In 2015, Tommy moved to South Lyon, Michigan to be closer to his family. He is survived by: his children, Kaity (Mike) Heikkila, and Chris, Steve and Emily Gray; his father, Dale Gray (a Sanibel resident); brothers, Tim (Janet) Gray, and Todd (Dawn) Gray; his sister, Terry (Bryan) Barnaby; and seven nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Gray.

A memorial mass was held in Newport Michigan.

Donations may be made to St Joseph Mercy Hospice, 1111 W. Long Lake Road, Troy, Michigan, 48098. Please specify that all donations are for hospice education.



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