George Alexander Gray Jr., 90, died Jan. 1, 2008, at his residence.
He was a native of Gastonia, the son of the late George Alexander Gray Sr. and Hallie Torrence Gray.
He was a descendent of two of Gastonia’s pioneer families, and was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church.
Educated at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn., and at Davidson College, he earned his pilot’s license at age 17, and became a civilian instructor for World War II Air Corps pilots in Camden, S.C. Later in the Air Corps Transport Command, he flew planes to wherever they were needed around the world.
He learned the cotton business in Leland, Mississippi, and worked with members of his family in the textile business. He owned the family firm of Gray Cotton Company, established by his father in 1930.
In 1949, he was a guiding force in establishing the Little Theater of Gastonia, his passion for over 60 years. He acted in and directed more than 50 plays and musicals for the enjoyment of the community.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Ellen Larson.