Hundreds Attend Ken Gray Funeral


By Matthew Searcy

BENTON -- Hundreds of Southern Illinoisans were in attendance Saturday for the visitation and funeral of former Illinois congressman Ken Gray.  

Family members wanted the funeral to be a tribute to Gray's life, and there was no shortage of people who wanted to be involved.  
"He was simply the most uniquely gifted man I have ever known," said guest speaker and grandson Jamie Hall. "The kind of person that can make a friend of anyone, laughed harder and louder than everyone and was always willing to give us his time and talents to help others."
Several of Gray's relatives paid their respects during the ceremony, while more than 300 attendees listened to the countless narratives about the former congressman. Ten guest speakers shared their own experiences. 
"Kenny put us on the map when national attention was everywhere but here," said Congressman Bill Enyart. "The entire Gray family, my heartfelt sympathies are with you. Know that thousands of Southern Illinoisans share your heartache today." 
"The greatest among you will be your servant," explained state representative John Bradley. "Kenny Gray was our servant, and he was certainly the greatest among us." 
Combined more than 800 people showed up for the visitation and the funeral. Gray will be buried on Sunday, in his hometown of West Frankfort. 
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