Donald Steven Gray, Sr. Esq., 64, of Irvine, California departed this life Saturday, September 12, 2009 at Cedar Sinai Hospital after a long illness. Attorney Gray was born January 4, 1945 in Los Angeles, California and was the son of the late Leon Bennett and the late Teova Bennett.
He was Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. ‘TAIS’ for 23 years. Attorney Gray graduated from California State University at Los Angeles, where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1974. He served in the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of Captain. He was a decorated Viet Nam combat veteran Field Artillery and a Life Member of the 1st Infantry Division Society. He also had a three-year Presidential Appointment to serve as Director, Military Equal Opportunity Programs, at the Department of Defense, Pentagon, under President Jimmy Carter. A Trustee and long time member of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church, Donald received many awards and recognition. He served as President of the Orange County California Bar Association, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee 2 terms, and President of the Bernard S. Jefferson Law Society. He was a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity – ‘Boule’ and 100 Black Men of Orange County and National Brotherhood of Skiers. He served as Assistant Scoutmaster of BSA Troop 5. Attorney Gray has also received numerous professional, civic and charitable awards such as Christ Our Redeemer AME Church Man of the Year, the Judge Learned Hand Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League Jurisprudence Award, the Citizen of Distinction in Law award presented by the City of Santa Ana, California, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Tom Bradley Distinguished Citizen Award, and Scout Master of the Year.
He is survived by his devoted and beloved wife, Jacqueline Wyatt Gray; children, Donald, Jr., Victoria and Derrick, cousins, Wendell Black, Thelma Walker, Phillip Lee and family; and a host of relatives and dear friends.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 8 p.m. with fraternal services from 8-9 p.m., Friday at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, California. The funeral services will be held on Saturday Morning at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Our Redeemer AME Church in Irvine, California and Interment at Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier, California.