The world has lost an incredible man. Dr. D. Bruce Gray passed away January 22, 2021. Educated with a B.S. from Tufts University, an M.S from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut. He was granted Emeritus Associate Professorship from Simmons University in 2019.
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He was predeceased by his parents, Douglas E. and Lois Gray, and brother Dean Gray.
He was married to his beloved wife Sally for 51 years, and she was by his side in all of his life goals, and had just hoped to start enjoying his retirement at their beautiful family home on Winnapaug Pond. This is where he could enjoy quality time with his daughter Gen and son-in-law Chris Muller, his son Andrew, and his two beloved grandsons Owen Douglas and Mason Harris. He enjoyed playing board games, ping pong, watching movies and doing yard work with the boys. Bruce also leaves several nieces and nephews as well as multiple sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
He had just retired from Simmons University as a Professor of Neurobiology and Biology after 25 years of service to the college as Professor, Department Head, Colleague and advisor to hundreds of students who all have described him as a brilliant neuroscientist, researcher, mentor and kind friend. He was given awards for his advising. So many students felt that he believed in them when they didn’t believe in themselves. He challenged them, took them to Society for Neuroscience scientific conferences around the world where they presented Alzheimer’s research work they did in his lab, and many have said they wanted to follow in his footsteps, and that he opened their minds and helped many of them get into medical school. He was so honored that a grandparent of one of his former students made a donation to the University in his honor. A new Dean at the University stated that even though she had only been at the University for a short time, she was made aware of the incredible legacy and very large impact he had made on student and faculty.
Anyone who met him instantly loved him. Bruce was a man that captured real connections with anyone he met. It didn’t matter if you were the local barista, an extended family member or the President of Simmons. He gave equal attention to whomever he was talking to. He was interested in what they had going on in their lives and made them feel special. He had empathy, focus and an honest desire to nurture the humanity that everyone deserves.
He was an avid reader, great debater and had a love for sports, especially the UCONN Women Huskies, he loved watching tennis matches especially when Roger Federer played and loved watching college football (Alabama) and the New York Jets with Joe Namath.
He never asked for praise, but was a man of great strength and character. He was a rare, magnificent person and will be incredibly missed.
Donations in his honor may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation at https://www.alz.org
Respectfully, funeral arrangements are private, but at a later time a Celebration of Life will be held. Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly is in care of the arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com