Sunday, 23 June 2024

Zane Gray, 1927-2010

Zane Gray died Saturday, October 30, 2010, at his home near Clearlake Oaks, Calif. He was 83 years old. Photo courtesy of the Gray family.






CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. – Zane Joseph Gray, 83, died peacefully at his Spring Valley Lakes home Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, after a lengthy illness.

Zane was born Sept. 16, 1927, in the Missouri Flat area on the Applegate River in Josephine County, Oregon, to Joseph and Amy Gray, an Oregon pioneer family.

He was the second youngest of six children and was reared in the southern part of Oregon. He attended schools in Missouri Flat, Selma and Glendale, Oregon.

Zane enlisted in the Navy in February 1943. He later transferred to the Sea Bees and was assigned to advanced explosives.

He spent most of his time in Okinawa. He said his time there was very difficult as the island was occupied by the Japanese, who he said hid in caves and took shots at them while they worked.

He was discharged in 1946. He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Metal and the World War II Victory Medal.

Zane was a logger working in Southern Oregon and Northern California. He owned his own logging business in the late 1950s, working in the Truckee area for some time.

Beginning in the early 1960s he managed the Chenoweth Lumber Mill in Bodega. He was responsible for the mill sending the first shiploads of lumber from the U.S. to Japan in the 1960s.

Zane purchased property near Bartlett Springs in 1978, commuting to Bodega weekly. His son, Wes, later joined him in the mill.

In 1985 Zane left the mill and moved full-time to his property near Bartlett Springs. In 1986 Zane began work for Vittel Bottling Co. in Nice, where water from Bartlett Springs was bottled.

It was then that Zane became involved in the restoration of several of the Bartlett Springs resort buildings and the famed gazebo. Sadly, those buildings were destroyed by an arsonist in 2007.

Zane worked for Nestle, which owned Vittel, as a caretaker of the former resort property until 2009.

Zane was a volunteer fireman for the Lucerne Fire Department for many years, before it was consolidated into the Northshore Fire Protection District.

He also manned fire equipment near his property by Bartlett Springs. He was on the front lines of the Fork Fire that burned the area by Bartlett Springs in 1996, which burned more than 83,000 acres in the Mendocino National Forest.

Zane loved to hunt and he spent many hours with his son, Wes, and grandsons in the Lake County area.

He was predeceased by children James, Sandra and Betty; older brother M.C. “Bob” Gray; and sisters, Ruby Gass, Zella Roff and Dolly Claymier.

Zane is survived by his wife of 62 years, Frances; son Wesley and wife, Debbie, of Sebastopol; brother, Kenneth and wife Barbara of Grants Pass, Oregon; grandchildren, Nathan, Jason, Randy, Aria, Clinton, Elizabeth and Sara; seven great-grandchildren; 13 nieces and nephews; and numerous great nieces and great nephews.

He will be interred near his parents at the Missouri Flat Cemetery near Grants Pass, Ore.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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