Charles A. Gray died March 3, 2010, at Francis House. He was born in Syracuse, New York, on September 16, 1928, son of Charles William and Elizabeth Marie (Koch) Gray.
Charles was educated in Solvay public schools through his freshman year in high school. He attended Southside High Schoool in Elmira, New York, for his sophomore and junior years. He attended Syracuse Central High School in Syracuse, New York, for his senior year. After graduation from high school, he attended various courses of the American Institute of Banking, receiving certification of AIB in 1958. Later he attended and graduated from the N.A.B.A.C. School for bank auditors and comptrollers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1961. He became a certified internal auditor (CIA) in 1962. He was appointed NYS director of the Bank Administration Institute 1970-72. He began his banking career with Merchants National Bank & Trust Company in 1946. Initially he was in the proof department, then the bookkeeping department and became a teller. He transferred to the comptroller’s department and was appointed auditor. Later he was elected vice president and auditor (the youngest officer of Merchants Bank). Merchants Bank and Irving Trust Company started a bank holding company known as Charter New York Corporation. Charter New York Corporation changed its structure and became Irving Bank Corporation. Charles was named regional bank auditor and was responsible for the internal auditing of Irving Banks in Rochester, Syracuse, Endicott, Hancock, Moravia, Clinton and Lake Placid. The Bank of New York obtained Irving Bank Corporation in a hostile takeover, and Gray retired after over 40 years in banking.
He was predeceased by his parents, C. William Gray and Elizabeth M. Gray. Charles is survived by his sister, Doris (John) Henderson of Camillus; brother, C. William (Joan) Gray Jr. of Geneva, Illinois; and several nieces and nephews. Gray was a member of First English Lutheran Church in Syracuse, serving as church school treasurer for over 20 years. He was elected a member of the church board of trustees as the youngest ever at First English Lutheran. He served as treasurer of the Lutheran Society of Onondaga County and treasurer of the Lutheran Student Foundation at Syracuse University. He currently was a member and attended Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, New York. In 1966 the New York State Synod split into the Metropolitan and Upper New York synods. Charles was elected treasurer of the Upper New York Synod. The Upper New York Synod includes all Lutheran churches in New York state except for Metropolitan New York City. In 1987 the Lutheran Church in American reorganized, and the Upper New York Synod became Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Charles continued to serve as treasurer until 2002. He was founding director and treasurer of the Lutheran Foundation of Upper New York. In 2009 the foundation was closed and the directors became the Investment Committee of the Upstate New York Synod.
Charles was initiated a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity at Syracuse University in 1962 and served as financial advisor to the Sigma Nu Chapter at Syracuse until 1998. On August 2, 1987, the Coulter Cup was presented to Charles A. Gray. This award is presented annually by the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta to “the graduate brother who is judged to have provided the most exceptionally outstanding service to an undergraduate chapter based upon length of service, brotherhood, dependability, integrity and high moral character.” He was president of the Interfraternity Council at Syracuse University 1980-83. Other positions held were president of the Central New York Chapter of the Bank Administration Institute 1970-72. He was a member of the Central New York Chapter Insitute of Internal Auditors and president 1985-1986. Gray had been a member of the Lions Club for over 40 years. He was a charter member of the University-Drumlins Lions Club from 1962, serving as treasurer except for two years (1973-75) that he served as president. He was presently a member of the Eastwood Lions Club.
Charles A. Gray was raised a Master Mason in Syracuse Lodge No. 501, F.&A.M. on May 21, 1964. He served as master from 1978-79 and treasurer until the merger with Liverpool Lodge No. 525. The Meritorious Service Award of the New York Council of Deliberation was conferred June 14, 1982. He served as treasurer of the Valley of Syracuse, Central City Bodies, for over 40 years. Charles was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33rd-degree honorary member of Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of America on September 28, 1999, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was a member of Tigris Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S., and currently served on the Finance Committee. Since October 21, 1989, he had been a member of Court 79, Royal Order of Jesters. He also held dual memberships in Memorial Lodge No. 648 F.&A.M. in North Syracuse and Liverpool Syracuse Lodge No. 501 in Liverpool, New York. Gray held membership in Central City Riverside Chapter 70, Royal Arch Masons. Charles was a member of the Masonic Veterans Association and Knights of St. Andrew.
Charles had owned the family summer cottage at Brantingham Lake since 1955. He wrote A History of Brantingham in 1998 and an updated edition in 2008; also The History of Brantingham Inn and Golf Course in 2007.
Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Fayetteville, NY.
Those attending may gather in Fellowship Hall after the service for a light lunch and to meet the family. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in memory of Charles for their memorial fund or to the 32nd-degree Masonic Learning Center for children with dyslexia, P.O. Box 638, 8280 State Route 69, Oriskany, NY 13424.