Ian J. Gray
Hometown: Columbia, Md., USA
Occupation: President, McBee Associates
Location: Passenger, American Flight 77, Pentagon
"Ian liked fantasy and science fiction. I think that's why he liked dragons. When I met Ian, I said, 'Oh my God, this guy likes dragons,' you know, because I thought of dragons as tattoos. But then I got to understand. I understood what they meant to him. And the funny thing is I'm having a real hard time giving them away. I have attachment to these guys because they came into my life with him. Now they keep me company." -- Ana Raley, wife
Scotland-born Ian J. Gray, 55, of the District, was president of a large national consulting firm on health care finance, McBee Associates of Columbia. He boarded American Airlines Flight 77 from Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles for business meetings in California and planned to go on to Seattle before returning home Sunday.
His wife is Ana Raley, chief executive of Greater Southeast Community Hospital and leader of the District's recently privatized indigent health care system. She was at work when televised news reports made her fear that one of the crashed jetliners was his.
Within an hour, American confirmed that it was and that she had lost her husband of eight years. "This is horrible," she said. "He was in perfect health. We have been the happiest couple in the world."
Gray immigrated to the United States in 1968. His first marriage ended in divorce, and he leaves a daughter in Baltimore.
Raley said she hopes her son, a Navy fighter pilot serving in Japan, can come home soon to be with her. But his unit is in a state of high alert, so he isn't sure when that might be.
A memorial service was held for Gray at the hospital's auditorium yesterday, and Raley said she now must plan a funeral. "I'm going to have a bagpiper and all the things he liked," she said.
Source: The Washington Post, AP and washingtonpost.com
The profiles in this feature were written in the months following Sept. 11, 2001.
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