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for Gray Printing co. ( the title was partially missing)
Thursday, January 12, 1989


Pix #1 - A. Gordon Gray (deceased), son of George M. (second generation)

Pix #2 - George A. Gray

Pix #3 - James G. Gray

Pix #4 - Thomas Gray

Pix #5 - Robert Gray, son of George

Pix #6 - Scott A. Gray, son of Jim

Pix #7 - Lisa Gray Fisher, daughter of Tom

(Author's Note: today's POTLUCK in the fourth and final in the series about the 100-year-old Gray Printing Co., established by George M. Gray in 1888, in the same location where it is still located on E. North St.)

It isn't very common that a business or industry remains in the control and management of the same family for 100 years.

George M. Gray, the founder of Gray Printing co. was succeeded by son A. Gordon Gray as president in 1943.

Tuesday, morning, Oct. 31, 1967, Gordon Gray made his daily visit to his office. Even though he was an octogenarian, he continued to have an active interest in the business with which he had been affiliated for 60 years. He was in cheerful spirits when he dined at the Fostoria Country Club at noon with some of his fellow townsmen. Nobody noticed anything unusual upon his departure for home after lunch, but his wife found him sprawled on the living room floor when she entered the house at 3:30 p.m. He had been stricken with a fatal heart attack.

Had prepared for his succession

Gordon had prepared for the future. He had accomplished the objective fate had prevented his father from attaining. Gorgon's eldest son, George A., had already been installed as president.

After he resigned his army commission in 1945, George was appointed personnel manager and purchasing agent. He replaced his father as president in 1965 and became chairman of the board in 1981. George retired in 1986 to devote more time to his hobby, the Fostoria Historical Museum located in the abandoned fire station.

James G. Gray on management staff, too

Upon his discharge from the Armed Forces in World War II, Jim, as he was better known, entered the sales department at Gray Printing Co. after a work experience in the pre-press and offset press room

When Lester Kisabeth retired from the sales department, just before Gordon's death, Jim took over the sales manager's office and kept it until he became president in 1981. He succeeded his brother George as chairman of the board in 1986. No longer required to carry the burden of the presidency, Jim had more time to concentrate on the customer clientele he accumulated during his 40 years with the company.

President Thomas Gray keeps eye on production

Tom Gray, the youngest of the Gray brothers, joined the company in 1950 after graduating from Wooster College. After two years in the Army, he returned to the negative assembly department. Lester Switzer took on Tom as his understudy in 1954, and he was well prepared to assume the job of plant manager when Switzer unexpectedly died of a heart attack in 1958. Tom moved upstairs to the president's office in 1985 and continues to keep in touch with factory production.

Bob Gray - VP sales, marketing

After a four year hitch in the Peace Corps, and teaching in the public schools, Bob Gray joined the Gray staff as personnel manager under his uncle Jim's sales department.

Bob is presently executive vice-president in charge of sales and marketing

Scott, Jim's son, newest on Gray staff

Jim's son, Scott, studied petroleum engineering at Marietta College. At graduation he faced a depressed oil industry. His father suggested he work temporarily at Gray Printing. Once inoculated with printer's ink, he was hooked. Scott is serving as corporate secretary and is working into sales.

Gray board not family affair

For 75 years the board of directors at Gray Printing co. was made up only of family members. Eventually the company recognized the need for fresh viewpoints and additional expertise, and replaced family directors with outsiders. The current board of directors, half of whom serve the company in no other capacity, are: Lisa Gray Fisher, George Gray, James Gray, Robert Gray, Scott Gray; (outsiders) Von Boll, William Holliday, Frank Kinn, Donald Mennel.

Gray 100 years old, still progressing

If George M. was among those visitors who from time to time tour the Gray facilities, he would be proud of what he sees. The white brick on the building facing E. North St., is similar to that built in 1917, only with numerous additions, including Cadwallader St. property and all of the property to the railroad toward the east; also some property on the north side of North St. which is used for parking facilities.

Employees provide talents

There is one more very important aspect about the Gray Printing Co. as it relates not only to what goes on inside the Gray facilities but the people who have worked there. Those who contributed to the final product before it was completed and delivered.

George Gray, a third generation in the family, and still active, provided a list of employees of past years and up to the present. It was quite apparent to this author that there was not space for the complete list, so here it is for the year 1988, including mechanical, office, sales and supervisory. Sorry there is not space for the early years, too.

Karl Walters, Harold Owens, William McDaniel, Steve Thompson, Jeffery Hammer, John Machir, Frank W. Borer, James Brose, Robert Holderman, Toni Hill, Jean Roberts, Suellen Gehring, LaVonne Hipsher, Joy Pankurst, Loretta Mann, Charlotte Reffner, Roc Standish, Ronda Wedge, Bobbie J. Welly, Jennifer Cramer, Judy Wedge, Werner Cramer, James Willard, Kenneth McGuire, David Pike, James Abel, Michael Mitchell, Duane McVay, Fred Levee, Suzette Weiler, Joseph King, David Johnson, David Lorek, Elizabeth Welch, Donald Southward, Robert Reinhart, Judy Fruth, Kyle Glits, Judy Hermazn, Donna Hogan, Terry McDonald, Louise Wagner, Karen Buskirk, William Mansfield, Donald Lindhorst, Robert Carl Wagner, Richard McMorgan, Fraser Gilchrist, Willis Beck, James Emerine, Barbara Sams, Elmer Auer, Duane Buskirk, Ronald McClellan, Joel Crabtree, Diana Miller, John Valachovic, Richard Downs, Ralph Gilliland, Timothy Bliss, David Phillips, Ronda Roelle, Tim Reinhart, Byron Mann, Gerald Sams, Ralph Heaster, Wilbur Hall, Lynn Trautwien, Harold Young, Daryl White, Howard Richards, Craig Cole, Scott Finley, Martin Finley, Roger Hogan, Jerry Platt, Susan Holderman, Lawrence Smith, Malcolm Beck, Jerry L. Moses, Sr., Charles Fangboner, Thomas Calmes, James Etzinger, Brenda Bonawit, John Twiss, Claire Hanley, Glynn Joseph, Sr., Donald G. Correll, Daniel Ewing, Richard Fillhart, Terrance Meyers, David Holderman, Daniel Holman, Terry Hemrick, Michael Smith, Allen Brose, John Brose, John Harshman, David Dick, David Cramer, Terry Ward, Kenneth Sauber, Jr., Candy Kiser, Pete DiCesare, Sandra Lewallen, Richard Weissinger, Richard Graves, John Keith Risner, Clarence Campbell, Gary Welly, Margaret Deiter, Joan Filliater, Jane Chaney, Joy Zender, Deborah Kurcan, Eugene Zender, Barbara Sauber, Patricia Rumschlag, Faye Lombardy, Iris Jean Hastings, Theresa Harner, Becky Williams, Karen Brandeberry, Nancy Webster, Margaret Ellis, Barbara Hossler, Roger Bell, Joseph Emerine, Tina Droll, Carol Ann Goetz, Edria Tillotson, Daisy Cole, Eric Tyler, Mary J. Hubbard, James Walter, Kevin Wolph, Edward Forster, Helga Opitz, Donna Jean Smith, Bonnie Wertz, Carol Cramer, Anne Cramer, Penny Riggs, Kathy Dieter, Barbara L. Rice, Geraldine Barringer, Michael Tryon, Terry Baker, Charles Anning, Danny Allen Babb, Dean Barkley, Anne Clouse, Carol Creeger, Robert Etzinger, Jeannie Fairley, Lisa Fisher, Marvalene Fittro, Kelly Geyman, Phyllis Gilliland, James Gray, Robert Gray, Scott Gray, Thomas Gray, Ann Hoffman, Donald Kisabeth, Jack Lambright, Floyd Lawless, Mark LeVans, Kathy Lorek, James Main, Chris Massery, Darlene Mendoza, Sharon Mitten, Howard Ohler, Herbert Opitz, Gerald Puterbaugh, Leah Rader, Mazine Ramsey. Linda Reinhart, Sharon Reino, Bette Reiter, Judson Rinebold, Mike Shabel, Ross Stofflet, Harold Storrer, Jr., Russel Wice, and Michael J. Williams.

The Gray board of directors

Those business men and women, some on the inside and some on the outside, who keep the management team advised, and offset nearsighted views by not being so close to everyday problems. The current directors are Von Boll, president of Cummins, Michigan; Frank Kinn, retired president of Commercial Bank and Savings; Robert Gray, executive VP and sales manager; Scott Gray, secretary; James Gray, chairman of the board; George Gray, retired chairman emeritus; Don Mennel, chairman of the board, Mennel Milling Co., William Holliday, retired, Peggy Gray Candies; Lisa Gray Fisher, sales representative.

Heed God's word

Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes" ... Say not ye. There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? I say unto you Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." (John 4:35)

North America a mission field? Absurd, you may say. But it is true. A field, ripe for harvesting of precious persons for whom Christ died; a mission field stretching across North America is in view.

One of the largest and ripest fields today is teeming with refugees and immigrants from Asia. The area of our world with two-thirds of the earth's people. These Asian arrivals, especially the Indo-Chinese, are responsive to the gospel of Christ. They are eager to find love, acceptance and friendship.

Long Beach, Calif., is one of the places where the Church of the Nazarene is responding with laborers for this harvest of soul. About a decade ago, the first Asians began coming to Long Beach First Church of the Nazarene. The church has not been the same since. Today, the largest ethnic ministry of the church is well over 1,000 people.

The Asian Nazarene Bible College Extension is there also, training Asians to be pastors, teachers, evangelists and missionaries.