On the night of February 10, 2011, Jacob Rowe Gray found peace. For nearly 20 years he had battled alcoholism. “I don’t think I can overcome this disease,” he told his mother shortly before he died.

Jake’s answer came as Canada Geese flew overhead, honking goodbye while Squaw Valley Creek flowed at his feet.

Jacob was born in Nampa, Idaho on March 9, 1977. He grew up in Boise with frequent visits to relatives in Coos Bay, Oregon and McCloud.

Jake loved Siskiyou County, returning whenever possible to fly fish in the McCloud River and creek along the Pacific Crest Trail; to golf; dive into the frigid waters of Lower Falls; and fill up at his grandmother’s table. He dreamed of living there one day.

Grass and keeping it green was Jake’s career calling. He began mowing lawns in elementary school, worked on a golf course in high school, and continued in turf management as an adult.

He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in agronomy. He was a golf course superintendent in Colfax, Washington; and caretaker of Whitman County Cemetery.

Jake started and operated a lawn and irrigation business. At the time of his death, Jake was assistant superintendent at Del Paso Country Club in Carmichael, California.

Jake’s family was important to him. An only child, he found siblings in his cousins Stephanie Merrill, Michael and Mark Paidakovich, Jeremy, Kami and Kala Gray, Jordan Gray, and Chelsea and Madeline Ford.

He began his own family with wife Tyne and her son Tyler. They had sons Bennett and Carsen together. Although their marriage failed because of his drinking, Jake truly loved his wife and sons.
His last words express his love for them, accept responsibility for his failures as husband and father, and encourage them towards a better tomorrow.

“Predicting the future is easy,” says the Fortune Teller. “What’s hard is revealing the secrets in one’s past.”

Jacob’s life is a lode of treasures, rich in lessons of his 34 years. The family plans a ceremony and burial of his ashes in the McCloud Cemetery in July.