The surest thing there is, is we are riders,
And though none too successful at it, guiders,
Through everything presented, land and tide
And now the very air, of what we ride.
Riders (Robert Frost)
It is with profound sadness, the family of William (Bill) George McGray (b.1951) mourn his passing December 12, 2020 in Hants Community Hospital, Windsor, with his loving wife at his side.
Born in Halifax, Bill was the son of Edith A. C. Hennessy McGray and Rev. Dr. George S. McGray. He is survived by his wife, Sheila Higgins McGray, daughter Dr. Leah McGray, son-in-law Dr. Armand Hall, son Dr. Robert McGray and daughter-in-law Dr. Jessica Prioletta, grandsons Edward McGray Hall and Benjamin McGray Hall. Surviving also is adopted sister Barbara Martell, and his friend Malcolm Hamilton.
Bill spent his formative years in Halifax and his beloved ancestral farm in Brooklyn, Hants County. He was a graduate of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax and Dalhousie University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education Degrees. During his 35-year teaching career, he taught elementary school in Falmouth, was principal at Dr. Arthur Hines School and taught at Hants West Middle School in Brooklyn. It was always very evident and validating from his student’s remarks the tremendous impact he had on their lives.
As were generations before him, Bill was an avid horseman. His time away from school was spent training, riding, and showing horses. Prior to his illness he rode everyday from early spring to late fall, as well as progressing his artistic skills with leather work. He was well known in the equestrian community for over five decades and won championships for barrel racing, pole bending, reining, and all-round championships. Bill and his parents founded the Eastern Stock Horse Association and yearly Western Riding School in Windsor. It was here Bill instructed riders and began his great love story with Sheila. As true to his lifelong learning values he was tremendously proud of his wife and accomplished children. Bill's highlight of his day was his daily lengthy breakfast club mornings with his beloved grandsons.
Bill was a Brooklyn United Church Trustee, and a ten-year volunteer for property grounds management. He was humbled to contribute to this important work for the church that generations before him all held in high regard.
Due to the pandemic, a celebration of his life and funeral service will be announced at a later date.
Donations in Bill's memory may be made to the Bill McGray Bursary Fund (through the Royal Bank in Windsor, or firstname.lastname@example.org) to be awarded in support of local students.