Lowell Gray dies at 57

COURTESY PHOTO
Lowell Gray leaves behind a wife, brother, and three daughters.

Lowell Gray, an entrepreneur, technology executive, restaurateur and real estate developer who turned in the last few years to the land and the life of a small farmer, died in the early hours of Memorial Day. He was 57.

Born in New Rochelle, New York, he graduated from Harvard University in 1982, spent a summer working as a computer programmer and saving some money before heading to Asia with his friend, Mike Fee. They spent time in Hong Kong, Bangkok, and the Malay Peninsula before splitting up in Singapore. Lowell went to Java and Bali, while mike headed to Sumatra. Lowell returned to Singapore and worked as a programmer to make some money. Feeling flush, he bought a grey market Rolex and couple of bespoke suits before hitting the road again, this time to New Delhi and eventually to Europe.

Mike picked him up in an old VW bug and the two made it across the south of France, Spain and Portugal before the car finally died on the Basque frontier. They then hitchhiked to Paris where Lowell hocked his watch for a final blow-out before heading home. At Kennedy Airport they were pulled out of the security line. The combination of Lowell’s long hair, his custom suit and flip-flops, and a passport stamped from India and Thailand apparently arousing suspicion.

Back in the U.S. Lowell settled into a career, actually several careers, in technology including stints at Cap Gemini, Bell Laboratories and Price Waterhouse before starting his own software company, Eco Software, with dreams of being the next Lotus. He was drawn, however, to online services and founded an internet service provider initially called North Shore Access, which later became Shore.Net.

Attempting to borrow money to finance his growing business and after rejection by several banks, he turned to the city of Lynn for help. The Lynn/EDIC responded with $25,000 initially, a sum that grew to include a building, help…

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