Our Staff

The staff of Funeral Directors at the James R. Gray Funeral Home have over 90 years of combined experience working in the funeral industry across Western New York.

The professionalism, compassion and expertise of our Funeral Directors is what truly sets the James R. Gray Funeral Home apart.

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James r. gray

Owner & Licensed Funeral Director

Jim is a native of Rochester’s 19th ward community and grew up on Brookdale Avenue. He attended West High School, Monroe Community College and graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in 1976. Jim became a licensed funeral director in 1977 and worked with numerous area funeral homes until 1990 when he took over ownership of the Harold F. Wood Funeral Home, which he renamed the James R. Gray Funeral Home in 1998. His funeral home is the oldest continuously family-owned and operated funeral home in Gates. He is married to Cindy (Foos) Gray, a Gates native, and they have three grown children: Michael Collins, Benjamin Collins, and Lindsay Gray.

Jim serves as President of Gates Volunteer Ambulance Service. He is a member of the Rochester-Genesee Valley Funeral Directors Association, the New York State Funeral Directors Association, Sons of the American Legion Post 1830, Co-Founder of Friends of Gates Recreation and Parks and a Past-President of the Gates Lions Club.

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Richard j. Peterson

Associate & Licensed Funeral Director

Dick is originally from Sinclairville, New York in the Southern Tier near Jamestown. He graduated from Simmons School of Embalming & Mortuary Science in 1960 and became a licensed funeral director in 1962. He worked for Eastman Kodak Company at Kodak Park for 25 years and, when time and schedule permitted, also worked in funeral service. Retiring from Kodak in 1991, he went back into funeral service full time. Dick and his wife Gail (Fridd) Peterson lived in Chili for 35 years until recently moving to Gates. They have been married for 43 years; have two daughters Jill (John) Schillaci and Julie (Dan) Jones and six grandchildren.

In his spare time,Dick is very active in the Radio Control Club of Rochester – a club dedicated to building and flying radio controlled aircraft.

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michael j. collins

Resident Funeral Director

Michael grew up in the Town of Chili, on Stover Rd.  He graduated from Aquinas Institute in 1999 and graduated with honors in Mortuary Science from Hudson Valley Community College.  Michael, his wife Amelia (Lenzo) and their daughter Brenna live in Penfield. He is the son of James and Cindy Gray.

Michael is an avid golfer and hockey player.  He is also a member of Sons of the American Legion Post 1830.