SEARSPORT - Ashley Clement Gray, 95, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 in Searsport, Maine. Ashley was born September 17, 1919 in Belfast, Maine, the son of Clyde M. and Sarah C. Gray, and grew up on the family farm there. He attended the Belfast schools and graduated from Belfast High School.
He joined the Army Air Force in 1940 and served in various states as a member of the ambulance corps for the duration of World War II. After his service to his country Ashley followed in his grandfather and father's footsteps working as a carpenter in northern Maine and Florida.
On June 21, 1947 Ashley married Adelaide Clements in Swanville, Maine. They were happily married for 60 years until her death in April 2008. Both Mayflower descendants, Ashley spent countless hours helping Adelaide with her genealogical research.
From 1948-1952 Ashley attended Farmington State College, graduating with a degree in education. While going to school he worked in the local A & P store but still found time to serve as class president and belong to many clubs.
Ashley then began his teaching career as a teaching principal in Jackson and Owl's Head, Maine. In 1955 he and his family moved to New Britain, Connecticut. There he taught in the teacher training laboratory schools of Teachers College of Connecticut. In 1960 he accepted a position at Central Connecticut State College in the education department. Ashley earned his doctorate at the University of Connecticut specializing in supervision and curriculum. He worked as the head of the Intensive Program for the Education of Teachers. In 1972 Ashley moved back to Maine where he worked at the University of Maine in Orono until he retired.
Ashley was a representative to the New England Association of Supervision, Curriculum and Development and was a member of many professional educational organizations. He enjoyed playing chess and belonged to a chess club in New Britain.
Ashley was a generous man who always looked for the best in people. Children and animals recognized and naturally gravitated toward his gentle soul and both pets and grandchildren were spoiled by his kindness. He was a compassionate person who loved his family and genuinely cared about the lives of the people around him. Throughout his life he enjoyed many outdoor activities including hiking, gardening, hunting, fishing, mowing the lawn, feeding the birds, and managing a wild blueberry farm. He was also an avid reader and an experienced bread baker. He enjoyed watching women's college basketball, especially UConn, and doing the crossword puzzle every day. Ashley also appreciated the benefits of indiscriminate snacking, from candy and Little Debbie snack cakes to sharp cheese and sardines.
Ashley is predeceased by his parents Clyde and Sarah Gray of Belfast; his brothers Clyde Gray Jr. of Florida and Hugh Gray of Belfast; his wife Adelaide Clements Gray; and his son John Ashley Gray of Kennebunk, Maine. Ashley is survived by his daughter, Margaret Gray Klotzle and her husband Paul Klotzle of Searsport; his grandchildren Rebecca Klotzle of Boston, Massachusetts, Elizabeth Klotzle of New Gloucester, Abigail Klotzle French of Apex, North Carolina, Ashley C. Gray of Portland, Nathan Gray of Carlsbad, California, Rachel Gray of Kennebunk, and Kathleen Gray of Portland; six great-grandchildren; many loving nieces and nephews; and the family dog Tashi. He served as a wonderful example of a life well lived and he will be greatly missed.
Arrangements are under the care of Young Funeral Home, Searsport. Graveside services will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to your favorite charity.