Community mourns loss
NEXT week Warwick will farewell a generous, community-spirited man, leaving a void in many local organisations and, most importantly, within the hearts of those who knew him.
Roger Anthony Gray passed away on Monday, July 4, in the home he shared with his wife, Judi.
He also leaves behind his adoring family, sons and daughter-in-laws Sam and Rochelle, and Nick and Olivia, stepsons Jeremy and Ben and granddaughters Hannah, 6, and Abbey, 3.
Roger was born in Dimboola, Victoria, on April 18, 1952 to parents Roy and Ann Gray and was the third child among siblings Peter, John, Sue, Helen, Paul and David.
Much of his childhood was spent in Belair, South Australia, where he was given the rare privilege of growing up in a national park and likely developed his life-long passion for protecting and preserving the environment.
Roger possessed a fun, energetic personality that was clear when he spent time with granddaughters Hannah and Abbey.
Transforming himself into a human slide with the simple prop of a piece of cardboard always brought enjoyment to Roger’s precious grandchildren, despite it not being the most sanctioned pre-bedtime activity by their parents.
During the nine years he lived in Warwick, during two separate stints, Roger selflessly immersed himself in local charity and sporting activities.
His friendly face was often seen manning the driver reviver and Rosie’s food van, and during the flooding and storms he donned his SES uniform to help cover roofs, doorknock and sandbag properties.
A life-long love of AFL continued during Roger’s years in Warwick, at one stage shining as both club coach and vice-president.
Roger had been employed at the Big W DC for the past six years and during the past 12 months had fulfilled the role of inventory manager at the distribution centre.
The men and women who worked alongside Roger each day were devastated at having lost a man who was not only their manager, but also a friend.
Described by workmates who knew him best as a “people person” and “natural-born leader who saw the best in everyone”, Roger’s passing will leave a significant hole within the Big W community.
Roger will be farewelled at 10am on Tuesday, July 12, at the Douglas Feez pavilion at the Warwick showgrounds.