Robert “Tom” Gray II, Ph.D

Robert “Tom” Gray II, Ph.D

May 6, 1947 – October 13, 2020


Born on May 6, 1947 in Wheeling WV, Tom was the son of Robert Thomas Gray “Doc” and Mary Jean Gray.  He grew up in a coal mining community just outside of Pittsburgh, PA.  After graduating from Carmichaels High School in 1965, Tom went west to Nebraska, and attended Pershing College in Beatrice, NE.  There he met Karen Paben and they were married on May 1, 1971.

Tom was fortunate to have had several rewarding professions in his life.  He was a social worker for many years, and his compassion for others helped him improve the lives of his clients.  He made great use of his “fixer” skills in his long career as a project manager.

However, Tom’s true calling was as a college professor.  He had a BA, an MBA, a PhD, and a lifetime of well-earned wisdom.  It was one of his great joys to share all that knowledge with others.

Tom was a devoted son, loving husband and father, and loyal friend to many.  He was a drummer in a band, cook in the Army, golfer, Blues Brother, CWS tailgater, and 3 Stooges enthusiast.  You could usually find him wearing black and gold or crimson and cream in support of his two favorites: the Steelers and the Sooners.  He always had a smile on his face and a joke in his back pocket.  While humor was always at the forefront, his genuine empathy and sincerity left a lasting impression.

He is survived by his wife, Karen, daughter, Molly and Adam Bealle; grandchildren: Emma, Connor, and Jenna.

Tom battled Alzheimer’s disease for 6 years.  Suggested memorials are the Alzheimer’s Association or Country House Residence.

Celebration of Life services to be held at a later date.



  • Barbara Wire Posted October 17, 2020 8:20 am

    Very sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. Fond memories of him at Pershing

  • Stephanie LaPuma Posted October 17, 2020 12:38 pm

    Sending prayers of strength and comfort. Tom was a good friend, my former professor during my MBA, and later a colleague. He coached me on how best to complete my dissertation. Lots of laughs and great conversation during Bellevue University graduation ceremonies. Wonderful person who’s desire to educate others was a beautiful gift.

  • Tom & Erica Wagner Posted October 17, 2020 8:22 pm

    Sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a great mentor and boss. He will be greatly missed. Keeping his family in our prayers during this difficult time.

  • Tom Pollard Posted October 17, 2020 9:27 pm

    I am deeply sadden to hear of “T’ passing.. He was not only a friend but was a board member of my charity and very helpful to me with it. My thoughts go to Karen and Molly and wish I could have been a better friend these past years.

  • Robert G Schwarz Posted October 20, 2020 12:42 pm

    Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tom. Happy memories of him and all our antics at Pershing. RIP, my friend.

  • Jan Litherland Posted October 21, 2020 7:13 am

    I am so sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. I have lots of memories of his great sense of humor always a smile on his face. Hugs and prayers Karen and family

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