Russell Jean 'Jean' Gray, Jr.
Gray, Russell Jean, Jr. Known as Jean On August 8th, 1929, Jean was born in Minneapolis, MN, to Russell and Veronica "Babe" Gray. Raised in Excelsior, Jean attended Excelsior Public Schools and then the College of St. Thomas. Commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the USAF, he served two years as a Special Agent of the Office of Special Investigations (IG), USAF. His FBI career over nearly 30 years covered almost every type of investigative assignment. He was transferred thirteen times, including three tours in Washington, D.C. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, a source he was handling in Washington, D.C., provided crucial information that helped defuse the situation. Jean served overseas as a Legal Attaché in Mexico City for six years and Manila for three. In late 1980, he was placed in charge of the Foreign Counterintelligence - Soviet Division of the FBI's New York Office. For the following four years, he directed efforts to thwart KGB and Soviet military intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover within the United Nations and at the Soviet Consulate General. Returning to his roots in Excelsior, Jean became active in Minnesota Friends of the Orphans, raising funds for a system of orphanages in nine countries. He became founding President of the Father Wasson Legacy Endowment, which manages investments to help fund the homes for the orphans. Jean served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation for Excellence. Active in the University of St. Thomas Alumni Association, Jean was given their Humanitarian Award in 1998 for his work with the orphans. He received the Monsignor James A. Lavin Award in 2017 for his contributions and services to the Alumni Association. In 2013 he became a Director of the Board of Advisors of the Center for Catholic Studies of the University of St. Thomas-Minnesota and a member of the combined Board of Trustees of the St. Paul Seminary and the St. John Vianney Seminary. In September 2006, Jean was invested as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Jean was an active Rotarian who was most interested in international service projects. A member of St. John the Baptist Catholic parish in Excelsior, he will be interred beside his parents and sister in Resurrection Cemetery. Never married, Jean loved to travel but always considered Excelsior his home. Jean is survived by: John and Jan Gray. John and Kelly Gray, Hunter, and Alex Tangeman. Jill, Troy, Tucker, Riley, and Morgan Zangs. Jim, Zeke, Shelby, Kendall, and Sierra Gray. He cared deeply for the children at the orphanages and considered them his children too. Please direct Memorials to the Father Wasson Legacy Endowment, Inc. EID 91-2005679, 134 North La Salle Street, Chicago, IL 60602-1036 The service for Jean will be at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Friday, January 21st. Visitation will be at 10:30 am. The service will be at noon. Livestream: stjohns-excelsior.org or youtu.be/… There will be a luncheon immediately following the service at the church, located at 680 Mill Street, Excelsior, MN 55331. Huber Funeral & Cremation Services Excelsior Chapel 952-474-9595 huberfunerals.com
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