Vernon Ivan Gray, LaRue Road, Massena, died unexpectedly at the family farm on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.
A visitation will be held 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Monday, December 4, at Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop with a prayer service led by Father Ray Moreau at 6:00 pm. Per his wishes, he will be buried on the farm.
Vernon was born on February 17, 1960, in Massena to Archie and Anna Mae (Eldridge) Gray. He graduated in 1978 from Massena Central and Seaway Area Tech Center where he studied Agricultural Mechanics.
He married Julie Daggett on May 16, 1981, at St. Patrick's Church in Hogansburg. For 42 years, Julie supported his love of farming, working with him doing chores, fieldwork and the dreaded paperwork for taxes.
Vernon always knew he would be a farmer and worked on farms as soon as any farmer would let him. In his senior year he chose to work on a farm instead of playing football, incurring the wrath of Coach Nicholas. He and Julie owned a farm in Potsdam for 11 years. In 1995, they moved to their current farm, the same farm where he had worked as a boy.
Vernon always looked to lend a helping hand, even if that meant putting his own work to the side. And he always arrived with a smile and a sense of humor. He loved to pick and tell a joke, bringing laughter to all.
Vernon's love of Allis Chalmers tractors will forever live on through his grandson Lucas. They both would spot an Allis during their travels together and then would bicker about which model it was.
He is survived by his loving wife Julie, daughter Ashley Snyder and her husband Darrell of Massena. One grandson, Lucas Vernon Snyder. Four sisters: Joanne Farmer, Susan Gray, Marsha Gray and Mary Kay Pedersen. He is also survived by Julie's family: mother Reta Daggett, brothers Jay (Tammy) and Jody Daggett, and sister Susan Daggett. He leaves behind maternal aunts, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews; and being a member of a large family, 32 cousins. He was predeceased by his parents and father-in-law Dolan Daggett.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Helena Fire Department or Massena Rescue.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.hammillfh.com.