STAMFORD, Conn. - Ray Grebey Jr. of Stamford, who was the chief negotiator for the owners of Major League Baseball in the early 1980s, died Aug. 28. He was 85.
Grebey was born March 10, 1928, in Chicago, to Inez Fuller Grebey and C.R. Grebey, Sr. He received degrees in chemistry and psychology from Kenyon College and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He served in Korea with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, initially as a clerk in a MASH unit and later as an infantryman.
He began working in the field at the Inland Steel Corporation in Chicago. After graduate school, he managed industrial relations for the Hotpoint Appliance Company in Chicago, then a division of General Electric. In the late 1960s, he was promoted and transferred to the GE global headquarters in New York City and later Fairfield. At GE, he led international labor relations for the company until departing in 1978 to join Major League Baseball. Grebey was the negotiator for the owners during the 1981 strike by players that stretched from June 12 to Aug. 9. The strike resulted in the cancellation of 713 games. The meetings between the teams of Grebey, and Marvin Miller, the lead negotiator for the players, were contentious throughout, and the protagonists did not appear for the standard photo of shaking hands after the agreement.
Grebey left baseball in 1982 to join Pan American Airlines as the head of international labor relations and human resources. In 1989, he left Pan Am to join the founding executive team of the Trump Shuttle. He later served as the chief labor negotiator for the City of Stamford and was appointed as a member of the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations.
Grebey is survived by his wife, Marilyn Isett Grebey; son, Clarence R. Grebey III; daughters, Nancy Grebey and Chris Grebey; daughter-in-law, Katharine Urbank; and two grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Calling hours are Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Gallagher Funeral Home, 2900 Summer St., in Stamford. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 at St. Timothy's Church, 1034 North St., in Greenwich.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Greenwich Home Hospice Care at Greenwich Hospital 5 Perry Ridge Road, Greenwich.