TAKAHIK River Valley Hikers
Home  Scheduled Hikes  Pictures  Videos  Membership  Links  Trails & Waterfalls Mushrooms Products  In Memory Of


Sept. 25, 1917 - Dec. 17, 2011




     Joe R. (JR) Gray, 94, lifelong Dardanelle and Atkins resident, artist in all media, and friend to many, died December 17, 2011. He was born in Booneville, Arkansas, in 1917, to Armour and Cena (McCorkle) Gray; the family moved to Dardanelle in the early 1920s. Joe grew up hunting, fishing, and expressing his love for the outdoors on paper and canvas. He attended the Kansas City Art Institute, where he studied under Thomas Hart Benton, noted American Regionalist. In 1941, he joined the U.S. Army Air Force and was wounded in battle over Kiel, Germany, in 1943. After discharge in 1945, he came home to Dardanelle and worked for his father in the family grocery business. He met and married Judy Hughey of Atkins in 1947. They had two children, Joanna and Bob. The family lived for a time in Fayetteville, where Joe worked for the Editorial Services Division of the University of Arkansas, and then in Little Rock, where he started Joe Gray Graphic Design. He moved the business to Dardanelle in 1961 and lived there developing a clientele of banking, business, and industrial interests. He was also Art Director for Wildlife Publications, affiliated with the National, Arkansas and Southeast Regional Wildlife Federations. His award-winning work was published in national consumer (Sports Afield), local, and regional publications. He also contributed a decidedly liberal political cartoon to the Atkins Chronicle for almost 20 years. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Armour Lee and Harold, and his wife Judy.

     He is survived by his daughter, Joanna Lange; her husband, Danny; and grandson Scott. Joe’s son, Bob; his wife, Lynn; and Lynn’s daughters, Audrey and Vivian, also survive. In 1981 Joe married Doris Alewine of Atkins, and they shared a wonderful life together for 30 years. Doris survives along with her children, Terry Murray and David Rackley, and David’s son, Logan. Terry’s husband, David Murray; and David Rackley’s wife, Rhonda, along with Rhonda’s son, Tyler, and her daughter, Alexz, also survive. Joe also had very special love for his nieces and nephews: Peggy Duvall, Tom and Sherri Young, Mary and Mike Mumma, Gary Gray, Paula and Buddy Hughey.

     Instead of flowers, the family requests donations to Arkansas Hospice, 2405 E. Parkway STE3, Russellville, AR 72802 72204 or the Dardanelle United Methodist Church, PO Box 188, Dardanelle, AR 72834, or the charity of your choice. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, December 20, at Cornwell Funeral Chapel in Dardanelle. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 21, at the First United Methodist Church in Dardanelle. Internment at Brearley Cemetery will follow.