The Knoxville community has lost a leader with the passing May 29 of Frank Benton Gray, 78. Dr. Gray, an orthopedic surgeon, was also an inventor, a classical pianist, a medical volunteer and a veteran. He retired from active practice at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic in 2000 but continued seeing patients as a volunteer physician at the Interfaith Clinic until 2017.
Dr. Gray was born in Durham, N.C., attended public school there and graduated from Duke University in 1964 with a pre-med focus and majoring in piano. In 1969, he graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, having co-founded the Student Health Action Coalition during his student days. This was the first of the medical school indigent care clinics in the country and recently celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. In his senior year, he married Anna Alligood, a pediatric nurse at UNC Memorial Hospital. This was to be a loving union lasting 52 years, according to his obituary.
Following two years of surgical training at Duke, Dr. Gray entered the U.S. Navy, earning the rank of Lt. Commander. He then returned to Duke to complete a four-year residency in orthopedic surgery. In 1977, the Gray family moved to Knoxville where he joined the KOC and specialized in total hip and total knee replacement.
He was a board member of the Knoxville Symphony for over 40 years, serving as president for four of those years. During his life, he also served on several other non-profit boards and committees and was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. He helped oversee the renovation of St. John’s Cathedral in 2019 and Cherokee Country Club in 2007. He was an avid golfer and at one time, a recreational pilot.
A memorial service at St. John’s Cathedral will be held at a later date. Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel. Additional obituary information here.