D’Wayne Gray, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant general and veteran of two wars who served in a newly created job of chief benefits director at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the early 1990s, died March 2 at his home in the Lake Barcroft area of Fairfax County. He was 82.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said his wife, Joan Gray.
Gen. Gray served in the Marine Corps from 1952 to 1987, including combat tours of duty during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was named headquarters chief of staff in 1983, and his final active-duty assignment was commanding general of Fleet Marine Force, Pacific, based in Hawaii.
He was executive director of the Montgomery County Revenue Authority before President George H.W. Bush nominated him for the Department of Veterans Affairs job in 1990.
D’Wayne Gray was a native of Corsicana, Tex., and a 1952 graduate of the University of Texas. He received a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1971.
His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal and five awards of the Air Medal.
He was a past board member and editorial board chairman of the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis and a past board member of the Retired Officers Association. He was a member of Tertulia, a monthly discussion group in McLean for retired Foreign Service officers, military officials and businessmen.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Joan Sobieck Gray of Fairfax County; three children, Stephen Gray of Bel Air, Md., Elizabeth Hendrickson of Arlington and Theresa Croghan of .; and four grandchildren.
— Adam Bernstein