Wednesday Apr 25, 2012
Visitation and service will be Saturday, April 28 at the First Church of God, 134 E. 43rd Avenue in Gary. The visitation is from 9 to 11 a.m. and the funeral service is at 11 a.m. Interment to follow at Evergreen Memorial in Hobart.
Peter Kesheimer, who retired as IU Northwest’s Registrar in 2007, worked alongside Gray for about 20 years.
Kesheimer has fond memories of the continuing banter that he exchanged regularly with Gray about their favorite basketball teams. Gray was a “rabid IU basketball fan,” as Kesheimer put it, while he supported his native team from the University of Kentucky.
In fact, at Gray’s retirement reception, Kesheimer recalled approaching the podium dressed in a buttoned-up trench coat. After relaying his memories of Gray, Kesheimer opened the coat to reveal his University of Kentucky sweatshirt. This drew hearty laughter as all those who knew Gray also knew his love for IU hoops.
A Hoosier through and through, Gray received both his bachelor’s degree in education and his master’s degree in higher education from IU. Before starting his career at IU Northwest, Gray served as an English teacher for Roosevelt High School.
He served the IU Northwest campus from 1970 to 2006. Early in his tenure at IU Northwest, Gray left for one year to work at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, before returning to IU Northwest in 1972.
Colleagues said Gray enjoyed serving the public with yearly financial aid seminars that he presented at area high schools. For many years, he coordinated the annual College Goal Sunday financial aid event.
“Leroy was one of the kindest, friendliest people that you would ever hope to meet,” Kesheimer said. “He was extremely supportive of the student who came to him and would go to any lengths to ensure that they received the maximum amount of aid that they were eligible for.”
Kesheimer said Gray had a particular knack for advising students and helping them achieve a healthy balance while juggling all the obligations typical of an IU Northwest student.
“He always had an open ear for students,” Kesheimer said.
Paulette LaFata-Johnson, director of the Office of Alumni Relations, worked with Gray some years ago when she worked as a financial aid counselor.
“He was a kind, gentle man willing to go the extra mile for any student that came in,” she said.
Arrangements are pending. IU Northwest extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Leroy Gray.