Cameron "Butch" Valor Gray Profile Photo
1942 Cameron "Butch" 2024

Cameron "Butch" Valor Gray

September 23, 1942 — May 16, 2024

Climax

Cameron “Butch” Valor Gray, 81, of Climax, MN, passed away Thursday afternoon, May 16, 2024, in Altru Hospital, Grand Forks, surrounded by his loving family. On Saturday May 11th Butch experienced a farm accident and suffered a traumatic neck and brain injury. He was at Altru in ICU fighting hard to fulfill his last wishes of being an organ donor, but as his heart failed it was not possible. He was able to be a tissue donor, which means that his gift will help so many people be restored to their best health.   Butch will be greatly missed.

 Born on September 23, 1942, Butch was the son of Cameron R. and C. Marion (Valor) Gray. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and while attending Climax High School participated in all the sports with his favorite being football.  After graduating with the Class of 1960 Butch went on to NDSU in Fargo where he played varsity football for the Bison. Butch enlisted in the US Army on March 18, 1964 and spent a year of his tour of duty in Vietnam. He came back with stories of the war and before his honorable discharge on March 13, 1966 he was awarded the Overseas Service Bar, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Expert Rifle M-14 badge. Butch returned to farm with his father for a time before going to work as a mechanic for Cenex in Climax, later managing the Cenex Fertilizer Plant. On June 28, 1975 Butch was united in marriage to Marlene F. Przybylski, introduced by his sister Aldine, who caught his eye and his heart at the same time. After the ceremony in the Sand Hill Lutheran Church they settled in Climax to raise their 3 daughters: Lynnette, Kristen, and Stephanie. Butch soon found out that he was born to be a trucker. He drove over-the-road trucks racking up over 3 million miles, which for anybody is a staggering number to imagine. He was quite proud of that fact and who could blame him. Sadly, his beloved Marlene passed away on October 12, 2013. A year later in 2014, and at the age of 72, Butch was parked in his semi due to bad weather but still got caught in a heavy straight-line wind that flipped his rig and resulted in breaking his neck. This was his 3rd serious fracture involving his cervical vertebrae and while doing the hard work to recover at Voc-Rehab he demonstrated his thirst for knowledge by taking computer courses. Though strong-willed Butch’s injuries hastened a retirement that he reluctantly had to accept.

 The good thing about his new life was spending time in his beautiful flower and vegetable gardens and sitting on the porch feeding and watching the birds. One day he got a call from his daughter, (Kristen), in Montana. She casually asked him if he would like to be in a zombie movie. He was out the door and on his way. The film production company was making a post-apocalyptic zombie western movie on Kristen and Mike Sanders ranch featuring the Back Street Boys, NSync, and several other personalities in a fun, kind of weird sci-fi flick. The whole Montana family got involved in “acting” and Butch had the time of his life. Returning home he settled into his best life tinkering around his place, and visiting with everyone at the Corner Bar in Climax. He also bought himself some new pickup trucks over the next few years and washed them nearly every day, keeping them in showroom shape. He also loved getting in his tractor and pushing this and pulling that around the farm. It was while doing this on May 11th that he suffered a fatal seizure and falling causing his accident. He never regained consciousness and a few days later was reunited with Marlene, his Mom and Dad, and so many friends that he had been missing over the last few years.

 Butch is survived by his 3 daughters: Lynnette Gray (Terry Shanks) of Foristell, MO, Kristen (Mike) Sanders of Climax, MN, and Stephanie (Jim) Kappel of Chaska, MN; 8 grandchildren: Hannah (Christopher) James, Jenna (John) Berry, Tanner Vesledahl (Mariah Sumerel), Madeline Vesledahl, Jack Kappel, Max Kappel, Mikaela Sanders, and Elijah Sanders; 8 great-grandchildren: Cassidy Berry, Jenna Berry, Callie Berry, Rhett Berry, Miriam James, Ingrid James, Odette Vesledahl, and Lucky Vesledahl; his sister, Aldine Ellisor of Moundsview, MN; and 2 nieces, Anita Carty and Margie Ellisor; as well as, extended family and a host of friends. In addition to Marlene, his beloved wife of 38 years, Butch is preceded in death by his parents, Cameron and Marion Gray; and parents-in-law, Gordon Przybylski, Eleanor Przybylski Solberg, and Gilbert Solberg. May God richly bless the memory of Cameron “Butch” Valor Gray.

 The Memorial Service honoring Butch’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 31st, 2024, in the Sand Hill Lutheran Church, rural Climax, MN, with Pastor Matt Williams, officiating. Visitation with the family will be for one hour prior to the service which will be livestreamed by going to his obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com and clicking on the prompt to view. Burial will follow in the Sand Hill Cemetery with military honors provided by the Nielsville American Legion Hubbard Post 336.           

 

 

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 31, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Sand Hill Lutheran Church

34145 MN-220, Climax, MN 56523

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Memorial Service

Friday, May 31, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Sand Hill Lutheran Church

34145 MN-220, Climax, MN 56523

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