Liv, pronounced Leev, represented Hoonah on the SEARHC Board of Directors from 1983 until 1998. She served as Vice Chair of the Board in 1992. She also served on the Hoonah Health Council from 1981-88, including four years as president and two as vice president.
"Liv certainly was very special to us," said SEARHC President Emeritus Ethel Lund, who was President of SEARHC from 1975 to 2000. "She really was a strong advocate for the people. She really cared about SEARHC and the services it offered."
Ethel said Liv was a good consensus-maker, especially when issues became political, helping people from both sides bridge the gaps and find agreement.
She was a strong advocate for Hoonah, especially since she served as the community's mayor from 1987-90. But Ethel said Liv was able to see the big picture and how it was more important to work as a whole instead of as individuals when it came to bringing health care to Southeast Alaska.
"It was a real joy to work with Liv," Ethel said. "She was articulate, professional, informed, compassionate, with a sense of humor. I am honored to have known her. We in Southeast have benefited through the multiple efforts of Liv Gray. We are grateful to her family for sharing her time with us."
In addition to her work with SEARHC, Liv served as a member of the Tlingit and Haida Executive Council from 1988-2002, was vice president of Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 12 from 1984-85 and president of ANS Camp 12 from 1991-92, served on the Hoonah City Council from 1982-87 and 1996-99, was the first Alaska Native woman elected mayor of Hoonah (1987-90), and was tribal administrator of the Hoonah Indian Association from 1985-88 (resigning after she was elected mayor of the City of Hoonah). She also held other elected and voluntary positions within the Alaska Native community.
Liv is survived by her husband, Dennis Gray Sr., a daughter (Sonya Smith), three sons (Dennis Jr., Andrew and Howard), three brothers (Paul Dybdahl, Johan Dybdahl and James Dybdahl), two sisters (Dorothy Johanson and Johanna Dybdahl), and all of their extended families.
Services for Liv were held Friday, Aug. 24, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Memorial Hall in Hoonah, and Saturday, Aug. 25, at Centennial Hall in Juneau.