George David ‘Bud’ Gray, 67

Published 11:08 am Friday, November 20, 2015

George David “Bud” Gray passed away on Nov. 15, 2015, at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison at the age of 67. He left us peacefully, surrounded by his family.



He was born in Eldora, Iowa, on July 20, 1948, to John Jerome Gray, Sr. and Pearl Delores (Hanson) Gray. The family eventually moved to Austin, Minnesota, where he attended Pacelli High School. After graduating in 1966, he enlisted that same year in the US Air Force where he became a payroll accountant.

His 20-year military career took him all over the world and eventually to Taiwan where he met and married Sue (Kao) Gray. Although their marriage ended after 26 years, they remained lifelong friends. In fact, George, Sue, and her second husband, Tony Chang, teamed up to open two popular restaurants: Chang Garden in Wausau, Wisconsin, and a second Chang Garden in neighboring Weston. Just as he had in the military, George acted as the restaurants’ payroll accountant and took great pride in shaping the still-running successful businesses.

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Prior to opening the restaurants, George retired from the Wausau Daily Herald after 20 years.

It’s difficult to adequately express the strength of George’s character. Those whose lives he touched know this only too well. He was a truly kind and compassionate person, putting the needs of others before his own. In the best of times, he was the source of warmth and humor. In more challenging times, he was the voice of calm. He was a great advisor and an even better listener. He was confident in his beliefs but accepting of those that differed. He treasured his family, and loved his children and their spouses, as well as his grandchildren, unconditionally. By simply being himself, he conveyed a spirit of pure goodness. He will be deeply missed.

George is survived by six brothers and sisters: John Gray (Terry) of Austin, Minnesota, Sue Britt (Steve) of Owatonna, Minnesota, Mary Barclay (Rod) of Austin, Minnesota, Joe Gray (Kathy) of Austin, Minnesota, Tony Gray (Lydia) of Forest City, Iowa, and Nancy Holdgrafer (Kevin) of Dexter, Minnesota; his former spouse, Sue Gray of Wausau, Wisconsin; his two children: Michele (Gray) Delforte of Brooklyn, New York, and Michael Gray of Wausau, Wisconsin, and their respective spouses, Marc Delforte and Andrea (Blume) Gray; he also acted as a key parental figure to Matthew Chang, Sue Gray’s son from her second marriage; his three grandchildren: Kaeda Gallistel, and Kailani and Korina Gray; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at St. Michael’s Church in Wausau on Nov. 23, 2015, at 11 a.m. A reception will immediately follow at Chang Garden Weston located at 4215 Barbican Ave, Weston, WI 54476 until 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the The American Kidney Fund. For your convenience, a donation link can be found online at by clicking on George Gray’s obituary link.