With sadness, we announce the passing of Robert L. Gray, of Elk Grove, California, on December 26, 2021. Bob was a devoted family man, pillar of the community in Elk Grove and a pioneer in the software engineering space, developing one of the first programs used for electronic imaging and computer processing of checks and coupons.
Gray was born May 29,1937, in Quincy, Illinois, growing up in Hull, Illinois. As a young man, he developed a reputation as a handyman and electrician in his community which eventually helped him pay his way through college at Culver-Stockton, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s in Science in 1959. He went on to receive a Master’s in Mathematics from the University of Kansas, and afterward attended the Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland, Ohio. His work as Staff Programmer at Case’s Computer Center from 1961-62 granted him premier access to the Case1107, one of the only super computers at that time in the country, which occupied the entire first floor of the Quail Building on campus. After his time at Case, Bob returned to Culver-Stockton, where he taught Physics and Mathematics for one year and then ventured into the private sector where he held a variety of computer programming and financial services roles through the mid-1970’s. In 1975, he founded Xenex, a computer data processing company for local independent banks, which he led as President & CEO until he retired in 1994.
In addition to his significant professional achievements, Bob was an avid cyclist, community advocate and public servant. He enjoyed exploring bike trails throughout California and during annual road trips across the United States with his wife Cyndy and /or grandsons. Annual participation in the Davis-Area Foxy’s Fall Century was often a family event. In his retirement, Gray became a prominent voice for establishing the City of Elk Grove’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan, which helped bring major improvements to the city’s bike path and walking trails infrastructure. For the past 15 years, Bob participated as a citizen and elected member of the Elk Grove Water District. After retiring in 2007, he attended all board meetings and twice served on the Citizens Advisory Committee. In 2014 he was appointed as an associate director and later elected to the board of the Florin Resource Conservation District.
Often quiet and introspective, Bob was a man filled with love for those close to him, often building computers and driving cross-country to deliver new parts and provide tech support for friends and family.
Preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, and wife Cyndy, he is survived by his brother David (Nada), first wife and forever friend Phyllis and their son Kent, daughters Kimberli (Shawn) and Kristin, grandchildren Nicole (Matt), Jordan, Brittany (Jared) and Kirstin; and his great-grandchildren Jack, Lucas, and Abigail. A Celebration of Life will be held in Elk Grove soon. If you wish to make a donation in his memory, we believe it would suit his best wishes to contribute to Culver-Stockton College.
Graveside service will be held Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Kinderhook Cemetery. Online condolences may be left to the family at www.nieburfh.com. Niebur Funeral Home in Pittsfield is handling the local arrangements.
Culver Stockton College