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James Gray, 1941-2005

James Gray passed away very suddenly aged 64 on 18 June 2005. Jim was first and foremost a family man - a devoted husband, loving father and doting grandfather. He is survived by his beloved wife Rhoda, his four children Anne, Jennifer, James and Louise and his grandson Joshua.

Jim, however, was also a great geologist. After being awarded several prizes as an undergraduate, including the Mitchell Prize for Mineralogy, Jim graduated from Aberdeen University in 1963 with first class Honours in Geology. From 1963 to 1965 he worked at the Strontian Mines for a Canadian mining company. His research into ore deposits resulted in his being awarded an MSc in 1965.

He worked as an assistant lecturer at Aberdeen University until 1968 when he left Aberdeen to work in Glasgow for the engineering company Rockfall as a geologist. In 1971 he decided to move back up to Aberdeen to work for Site Exploration Services. In 1974 he decided to set up his own geological consultancy and site investigation company known as Grampian Soil Surveys.

Jim successfully ran his busy company for 29 years until selling up and retiring in 2003. His breadth of knowledge of Scottish engineering geology, shaped by a lifetime of experience and hard work, meant that many respected his opinions and would seek his council; even after retirement he was still called upon to act as an Expert Witness in court.

He always maintained a deep passion for geology. His enthusiasm was contagious and people would often bring in samples of rock, mineral specimens or fossils for him to identify. He was a great teacher, passing his love of geology to others. This ardour meant Jim became a mentor to many keen amateur geologists, for he always made time for those who wanted to learn and to better themselves.
He was a wonderful man, and is sorely missed by all who knew him and had the pleasure of working with him.

Anne Wilkins