Colonel John David Wray of Raleigh, North Carolina died peacefully on July 3rd, 2015. John was born in Raleigh on November 14, 1933, the only child of Dr. David L. and Ethel Parker Wray. As a boy he was very involved in scouting, becoming an Eagle Scout. He attended Needham Broughton High School (class of ‘52) where he met his future wife, Marion Lois Prescott. At Broughton, John played football and became a lifelong fan, avidly supporting Tar Heel football as a Rams Club member for over 30 years, regularly attending games with Marion.
John graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology (1957) with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He later went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967. While at Georgia Tech, John was in the Air R.O.T.C.. After graduating, he became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army as a sanitary engineer, stationed at Fort Eustis VA. After his discharge from the Army in 1959, he continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserve (the 3274th USAH). John was later attached to DARCOM and the staff of the Surgeon General of the Army at the Pentagon, retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1997. For a time he served as President of the Triangle chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).
In civilian life, John worked as a civil engineer in industry and in municipal and state governments. He joined DuPont in Richmond, Virginia, then moved back to Raleigh in 1961 to work for the city of Raleigh and then for the State of North Carolina. He worked for the State for over 30 years, retiring as Deputy Director and Chief Engineer of the N.C. Division of Water Resources in 1994. He maintained his Professional Engineer’s license until his death.
John was proudly patriotic and deeply interested in history, particularly the War Between the States. A lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, he was a member and deacon of Western Boulevard Presbyterian, then St. Giles Presbyterian, and lastly returned to the church of his youth, First Presbyterian, where he also served as a deacon.
John is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marion Lois Prescott Wray; son, David Wray of Blowing Rock and Bald Head Island, NC; daughter and son-in-law, Diane Wray-Cahen and Harley Cahen of University Park, MD; grand-daughter, Abigail Cahen of University Park; and many cousins.
A time of visitation will be held from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm Saturday July 18, 2015 at First Presbyterian Church 112 S. Salisbury Street Raleigh, where a funeral service will begin at 1:00 pm. Interment will follow at Montlawn Cemetery, Raleigh. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Capital Campaign at the First Presbyterian Church, 112 S. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-1344.
Please visit www.brown wynne.com to offer condolences to the Wray family.