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Published: Thursday, 11/30/2000

Ex-printer carried on family business

FOSTORIA - Thomas M. Gray, a former president and chairman of a 112-year-old family printing business who continued a tradition of community involvement, died of a heart attack Tuesday in Fostoria Community Hospital. He was 72.

He retired six years ago as chairman of Gray Printing Co.

Exercise was still important, his wife, Nancy, said, and he swam a mile at least once a week at the Geary Family YMCA.

In his youth, Mr. Gray worked summers for the printing company founded in 1888 by his grandfather, George. He returned after Army service in Germany during the Korean War to work full-time for the firm, known for printing school yearbooks and trade journals.

He became plant manager in the late 1950s and president and chairman in the mid-1980s.

“He oversaw an awful lot of successful printing work,” his wife said. “It was a booming company for many years. When Tom became president, there were over 200 employees. He loved printing, and he loved the plant.”

His daughter, Lisa Fisher, has worked for the firm since 1980. “He was involved in a time when it was a real craft,” she said. “He enjoyed the people he was involved with and the art of it.”

He was a former president of the Fostoria Rotary Club, and a director of the Tri-County National Bank, which was the local predecessor of KeyBank, and of the former Fostoria Labor-Management-Citizens Committee.

“It's something that's been part of the Gray family tradition,” said Robert Fast, a retired president of Tri-County National. “Tom enjoyed Fostoria and wanted to participate in community life.”

Mr. Gray grew up in Fostoria and was a graduate of the Culver Military Academy, Culver, Ind., and the College of Wooster.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Fostoria, where he was an elder and sang in the choir. He was

Mr. Gray and his wife married Sept. 25, 1954.

Surviving are his wife, Nancy; son, Gordon; daughters, Teresa Hansen, Lisa Fisher, and L. Cameron Winter; brother, George, and seven grandchildren.

The body will be in the Mann-Hare Mortuary, Fostoria, after 2 p.m. today, with Masonic services at 7 tonight in the mortuary. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in First Presbyterian Church. The family requests tributes to the Fostoria Area Community Foundation or to the church.

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