William ‘Bill’ Lee Gray


(June 6, 1940 - May 24, 2017)

William “Bill” Lee Gray died in the early hours of May 24, 2017, in Cody. He was 76.

Bill was born June 6, 1940 in Heightman, Iowa. In spite of having a developmental disability brought on by contracting polio at a young age, Bill lived on and experienced life to the fullest with all of its highs and lows. 

He spent his early years living in the Wyoming State Hospital in Lander before being released into the care of several successive organizations and families who loved and cared for him as their own, right up until the very end.

To list all the things Bill loved would be impossible, but he had a special love of all things “cowboy,” police and highway patrol, Santa Claus, traveling, chocolate, and most of all his family caregivers. He had a special ability to recall names and faces and quite literally remembered everyone he had ever spent time with. He loved humor, teasing his caregivers, and if you were one of his friends, upon every meeting he would remind you that “I go to your house.”

Bill had a unique way of touching every life he came into contact with. 

While all of his caregivers thought they were taking care of Bill, he was in fact taking care of them. 

He was preceded in death by his parents Norman Robert Gray, and Faye Edith Lemberger Gray, sister Edna Mae Gray Wyatt, and brother Robert Gray, and most recently his best friend and caregiver Dale Cottrell.

Nick Vujicic is known for his quote “Put a GO in front of DISABLED and it spells GOD IS ABLED,” and the multitude of people who have been touched by the life of Bill Gray know that he is most certainly now more than ever ABLE. 

A celebration of Bill’s life was held June 3 at Ballard Funeral Home in Cody.