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March 1, 2013

Thomas Gene Gray

NORMAN — Thomas Gene Gray, 69, passed away Feb. 27, 2013. He was born at home on Oct. 29, 1943, in Heavener.

Services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Harvest Church, 6450 36th Ave. NW in Norman, with interment following in the IOOF Cemetery in Norman.

He was an exceptionally wonderful husband, father and grandfather. Tom was raised in Waldron, Ark. There, he developed a strong work ethic by working for family businesses from a very young age. These businesses included a grocery store, a Dairy Zest and a boat dock and restaurant on Lake Ouachita.

He was a Boy Scout and was extremely athletic. He played varsity basketball and was the quarterback of the Waldron Bulldogs. Tom was respected, loved, loyal and known as an honorable man.

Tom met his true love, Nancy Raney, from Booneville, Ark., in high school. They were married in 1962 and were happily married for more than 50 years. Tom graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in finance in 1965. They then moved to Norman, where he successfully completed a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1967. While earning his MBA, he worked as a business consultant for the Oklahoma Economic Development Foundation. As a result, he bought into one of these businesses, Omeco Inc., which in turn initiated his love for entrepreneurialism.

Tom acquired his real estate broker’s license and partnered in and developed several properties in Norman, including The Trails Golf Club, Prairie Creek housing addition and others. His most exciting entrepreneurial business was Midwest Pacific Resources Corporation, a railroad contracting business developed in 1985, operating out of Spokane, Wash. This proved to be a long-running successful partnership with Burlington Northern Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad and Montana Rail Link.

It was during these years that Tom, Nancy and family spent much time traveling the Pacific Northwest. There, Tom pursued some of his favorite hobbies of fly-fishing and snow skiing in Montana and Idaho.

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