Robert Gray Eargle Jr., age 93, of Grand Prairie, TX passed away on November 19, 2021. He was born to Robert and Josephine Eargle on October 18, 1928, in Texarkana, TX where he spent the majority of his childhood on the Arkansas side and attended the First Christian Church of Texarkana. As a teenager, he was an Eagle Scout, a lifeguard, and excelled in football, basketball, and diving in high school. In college, he attended and played basketball at Arkansas University, then played football and basketball for Henderson State College in Arkadelphia, AK, and he played basketball at Corpus Christi Jr. College where he led the nation in scoring amongst junior colleges for much of the year and was the top score holder for all Texas junior colleges by season’s end in 1949. He also played basketball at North Texas State University in Denton, TX. while working on his Master’s degree. After graduating with a Master’s in education, Gray joined the US Army where he pitched and coached the Army fast-pitch softball team.
Gray was a positive influence on many students’ lives first at Lewisville High School, then at Lee Jr. High school in Grand Prairie, TX as a math and science teacher and football and basketball coach from 1959-1971. He became known locally as an outstanding coach who never had a losing season and won several championships. Soon after South Grand Prairie High School opened, he was offered the head coaching position of the basketball team but chose to go into administration, serving as an assistant principal at Jackson Middle School (and one year at Truman Middle School) until his retirement in 1990. He was also active in coaching the football, basketball, and wrestling teams of his children. During the summer months, he poured his life into the lives of many kids for years working at recreation centers for the Grand Prairie Parks and Rec.
Gray also loved softball. He was a fast pitch pitcher throughout the 70s, often being hired to pitch for various teams for tournaments, and then played senior softball playing in various leagues and tournaments across the nation and abroad until he was 91 when the Covid 19 pandemic put a stop to the games in 2020. He was also an avid golfer playing throughout his life with good friends and was faithful his whole life at exercising to stay physically fit. Gray also had a passion for competitive West Coast Swing dancing and was involved in the Dallas Push Club for many years. He loved all types of ballroom dancing, especially with his favorite partner, Sandy Trent.
Gray had a great sense of humor and was always a very kind likable man. He consistently served as an upright moral example and revived his spiritual life in his final days. To his children, he was a fantastic father: so loving, patient, generous, caring, and strong. He will be sorely missed by them and all who knew him well.
Gray Eargle is preceded in death by his father Robert Eargle, his mother Josephine Tennison Eargle, brother John Morgan Eargle, and sister Pauline Eargle Dahlgren.
He is survived by daughter Cyndi Eargle Bird with husband William, son Robert Gray Eargle III, and son John Paul Eargle with wife Stephanie. His three grandchildren include Austin Bird with wife Emily, Chansin Bird Esparza with husband Jason, and Ian Bird with wife Stephanie. His five great-grandchildren include Nathan and Allison Bird and August Gray, Felicity, and Micah Esparza. Gray is also survived by his longstanding sweetheart Sandra Trent.
A memorial is scheduled for Thursday, December 16th (4;00 pm) at Grace Community Church: 801 W. Bardin Road Arlington, TX 76017 (just south of I-20 and west of Matlock Rd.).