Thomas O. Gray

Friday, September 01, 2017

Norwich, Vt. — Tom Gray died Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock after an accidental fall.

Tom was born June 20, 1945, in Millersburg, Ohio, and grew up in nearby Loudonville. He and his parents, the late Burley and Ruth (Roach) Gray, moved to the Detroit area when he was about 10. He graduated from Cranbrook Academy and from Haverford College. After graduation, he worked at the Birmingham (Mich.) Eccentric newspaper, as staff in the Michigan State Legislature, and with the Michigan Democratic Party. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1975 as a staff member for U.S. Rep. James Blanchard. He earned a law degree from Catholic University.

Tom began working in 1980 for the American Wind Energy Association, helping it develop from a two-person operation to a thriving organization with more than 60 staff. He was passionate about global warming, renewable energy, and energy policy. After his retirement in 2011, he focused his energies on social media and climate change. His “climatehawk1” Twitter account has 70,000 followers.

Tom and his wife Linda met as staff colleagues on Capitol Hill and worked together for nine years at the wind association. Tom’s early newspaper experience made him a quick and concise writer, and he edited constantly – whether it was written or spoken word. (He was a particular stickler about the proper usage of “bring” vs. “take.”)

Tom and his family moved to Norwich in 1986. Tom served as chair of the Windsor County Democratic Committee and as Vice-Chair of the Vermont Democratic Party, and also on the Norwich Planning Commission.

Tom is survived by Linda and daughters Ginny and Lizzie, all of Norwich, as well as many Gray nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his older brothers Charles and Paul.

The family is planning a memorial gathering this fall and will share details later. Memorial contributions may be made to the Center for American Progress.