William “Bill” Lawrence Gray, musician and Southern California heavy-equipment operator, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at his home in Big Bear, California.
Bill is survived by his parents; his wife Yvonne; his stepsons Graham and Denis; and his brothers Chester, James, and Jerald.
Bill was born on December 22, 1957 in Covina, California to Editha and Chester M. Gray II. Bill was a member of the Union of Operating Engineers, Local 12 since 1985 and worked on heavy construction equipment. On July 21st, 2018, Bill married Yvonne, who, sixteen and a half years before, took the music from his soul and put it back into his heart.
Bill had many talents, but his passion was playing and recording music. He began playing the drums at an early age and later expanded his talent to the piano, guitar, bass guitar and flute. He played in many bands throughout Southern California that date back to his teen years and continued until the weekend before his death. Thank you to all the musicians in Big Bear for welcoming Bill into your musical family. The SoCal music community will mourn the loss of a great drummer, talented musician, and devoted friend.
In addition to his music, Bill built and flew Radio Controlled and U Controlled airplanes, snow skied, and sailed out of Dana Point Harbor. Earlier in his life, he was a certified scuba-diver, surfer, and was an Ultra-Light pilot and instructor. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.