Jim Gray, a former Clerk of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and former Mayor of Manalapan, passed away unexpectedly on July 24 at the Ocean Medical Center in Brick.
Gray served as Clerk of the Board for eight years until 2010. He was previously Director of Administration for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities from 1995 to 2002, according to NewJerseyGlobe.
Jim was a Manalapan Township Committeeman from 1984 to 1998. He served five terms as Mayor and four terms as Deputy Mayor. He served as police commissioner, planning board member and recreation liaison. He believed that by serving his town and preserving recreational space, he could make Manalapan a better place to live.
He was a member of the Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission, a member of the Monmouth County Improvement Authority and served as a commissioner to the Monmouth County Library until 2018.
He was a member of the Monmouth County 9/11 Memorial Committee and vice-chairman of the New Jersey State 9/11 Committee.
Jim was a former president of the Manalapan Jaycees, and a founder and first president of the Manalapan Soccer Club where he also was vice president, treasurer and referee.
He was a member of the Manalapan-Englishtown First Aid Squad for 20 years. From 1991 to 1997, Jim was appointed as the Manalapan Emergency Management Coordinator.
He was a member of the Improvement Committee of the Battleground Homeowners Association, a member and former officer of the Yorktown Social Club, an actor with the Community Players, and a member of the Walk with Joe Committee, a memorial to Manalapan residents who died on 9/11.
Jim was named Man of the Year for Community Service to the Citizens and Youth of Manalapan by the Englishtown Knights of Columbus Prince of Peace Council #5902. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Manalapan Recreation for Service to Youth in 1989. In 1991, he was honored by Lodge #100 Knights of Pythias for his years of dedicated service. He received the Western Monmouth Chamber of Commerce Political Service Award.
In 1998, he received both the Manalapan Recreation Appreciation Award and an Appreciation Award for Service to Manalapan Township by the Gordon’s Corner Fire Company.
He was a recipient of the Award of Merit from the Friends of Monmouth Battlefield in 1999. He received the New Jersey State Employees’ Award, was recognized by the State of New Jersey Public Utilities and received a State of New Jersey Commendation by Senator John Bennett for Community Service.
Surviving are his devoted wife and best friend, Janet Walker Gray to whom he was married for 54 years; and two sons, James (“Jay”) Gray of Freehold and Timothy (“Tim”) Walker Gray, his daughter-in-law Anabelle Perez Gray and grandchildren Thomas Christopher and Charlotte Victoria all of Hoboken and a brother Michael.
His middle son, Christopher Stewart Gray, died in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 at the age of 32.
A memorial service will be held at the Manalapan Township Municipal Building, 120 Route 522, Manalapan on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations would be appreciated to either: the Samaritan Center at 211 County Rd 522, Manalapan Township, NJ 07726; or the “WVU Foundation” memo line “Chris S. Gray Memorial Scholarship” and mailed to WVU Foundation, PO Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650. Higgins Memorial Home, Freehold is in charge of arrangements.