B. Martin Gray, 89, of Page, ND passed away peacefully with family by his side on August 26, 2023 at Edgewood Vista in Fargo under the care of Hospice.
Bernard Martin Gray, known as Martin, was born on July 30, 1934 to Myrtle (Viker) and Bernard Gray. He was raised on his parent’s farm near Page, ND. He graduated from Colgate Public School in 1953. As a senior in high school, Martin began dating Betty Jo Visby. Martin and Betty Jo married October 16, 1955 in Blabon, ND. Early in their marriage, they spent winters employed in Milwaukee and Seattle. Their family immediately grew and soon they had four children and settled on the family farm. Over the years they raised cattle along with small grains, sunflowers, soybeans, corn, and sold grain vacs.
His outside interests were many, serving on several boards, including Colgate and Page School Boards, Production Credit Association, and Our Savior Lutheran Church. He was active in his church and served as Luther League leader and Sunday School teacher. As a teenager he enjoyed playing basketball for Colgate High. As a young man he enjoyed bowling, playing cards and was a member of Toastmasters. He and Betty Jo square danced and in his later years he loved playing competitive tennis.
Most of all Martin loved being a farmer. He never lost his interest in the crops, how they were doing and if it had rained in Page. He considered himself blessed to have farming colleagues Dale Bjerke and Steve Reis, who he entrusted with the farming operation. He and Betty Jo traveled on many farm tours in the USA, South America and Europe. His last European trip included Norway, where he asked everyone if they knew any Vikers.
Martin’s favorite pastime was visiting with people. He never left an event, restaurant or airport without meeting a new friend and getting their card or phone number in his little pocket notepad. They found a cabin on Big Floyd Lake, a perfect place to entertain his young grandchildren and watch them grow into wonderful adults and later bring their own children to play on the same beach. For many years, he and Betty Jo wintered at Venture Out in Mesa, AZ. They have many dear friends there. In 2021, they moved to Edgewood Vista in Fargo where Martin played cards and continued to form new friendships.
He is survived by four children: Kathleen (Larry) Anderson, Lori (Dale) Bjerke, Brad (Cindy) Gray, Joni (Todd) Nelson, eight grandchildren: Luke (Liz) Anderson, Krista (Preston) Steele, Erin Bjerke, Beau (Kayla) Gray, Andrew (Aly) Gray, Jacob (Reilly Anderson) Nelson, Benjamin (Amanda Carpenter) Nelson, Paige (Collin) Roesser and seven great-grandchildren; two brothers: Jim (Jeanette) Gray and Roy (Rita) Gray; close cousin: Sandra Johnson (Jack Hanson); sisters-in-law: Kaye (Loran) Severson and Helen Gray and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years Betty Jo (Visby) Gray (2022); his parents; three brothers: David, Paul and John Gray; sister: Ruth (Frank) Lemley and brother-in-law: Jerry (Marlys) Visby.
Visitation: Will be 5–6 PM on Thursday, August 31, 2023 with a 6:00 PM Public Prayer Service at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Page, ND and will resume one hour prior to the service on Friday.
Funeral Service: Will be held at 10:00 AM Friday, September 1, 2023 at the Our Savior Lutheran Church in Page, ND.
Burial: Will be in the Page Cemetery in Page, ND.