Denver Frederick Gray

DENVER FREDERICK GRAY passed away on January 23, 2013, in Tampa, Florida, with members of his immediate family by his side. He was 88. Born in New Orleans on November 11, 1924, Mr. Gray was a lifelong resident of Metairie, Louisiana until the Hurricane Katrina floodwaters forced his relocation to Highlands, North Carolina and Tampa, Florida. A devoted family man and avid deep-sea fisherman, Mr. Gray loved nothing more than gathering his family aboard the Hello Dolly to explore the rich fishing waters of the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, and was equally at home on the ski slopes of Colorado well into his 70s. As a Boy Scout Master for over 15 years, he believed in leading by example, supporting both charitable and political groups that strove to instill character, integrity, and responsibility. After serving in the Army Air Corps as a pilot towards the end of World War II and subsequently attending Tulane University, Mr. Gray began his insurance career at Travelers in 1948. Always an innovator, Mr. Gray recognized the unique exposures created by the burgeoning offshore oil and gas industry and created a self-funded liability insurance program to address those needs. Gray & Company, Inc., the firm he and his wife Dorothy Belle Verlander Gray founded in 1953, initially operated as the underwriting manager for various unaffiliated insurance companies. Over the ensuing 60 years, Mr. Gray oversaw the expansion of his enterprise, which is currently run by his three surviving sons, Walter, Michael and Eric, and encompasses operations in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Subsidiaries of the parent firm include The Gray Insurance Company, The Gray Casualty & Surety Company, The Gray Oil & Gas Company, The Gray Exploration Corporation, Verlander, LLC, Gray Matter, LLC, and Delta Title Corporation. Among other organizations, Mr. Gray was a member of the Coastal Conservation Association, New Orleans Big Game Fishing Club, Southern Yacht Club, Pass Christian Yacht Club, the New Orleans Country Club, and Wildcat Cliff Country Club, and was a generous supporter of the Republican Party. He was preceded in death by his parents, Reuben F. Gray and Inez Dubus Gray; his siblings Calvin Gray, M. David Gray, Reuben Flanagan Gray, and Barbara Ann Gray; his eldest son, Denver F. Gray, Jr.; and his beloved wife of 49 years, Dorothy Belle Verlander Gray. Mr. Gray is survived by his three sons and their wives: Walter Verlander (Tamberly) Gray of Metairie, Michael Townsend (Linda) Gray of Mandeville, and Eric Verlander (Janel) Gray of Covington; and by his grandchildren: Denver and Martin; Joseph, Michelle, Dorothy and Michael, Jr.; and Olivia, Eric, Jr. and Tyler; and by his wife Patricia McGee Von Hoene Becker Gray, and her children and grandchildren. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at Munholland United Methodist Church in Metairie on Thursday, February 7, 2013. Visitation begins at 11 am, followed by the service at 1 pm. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Boy Scouts of America Southeast Louisiana Council or the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Published in from Feb. 1 to Feb. 7, 2013