McCRAY, Robert C. Passed away in the early evening of August 9th, 2016 at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts at the age of 90. He was born on February 11, 1926 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of Carlos and Elsie McCray. He and his wife Joyce had been residents of Amherst, New Hampshire for the last 40 years and recently moved to the Huntington in Nashua, New Hampshire. He spent his early years in western Massachusetts where his father owned a Chevrolet dealership in Monson.|
Bob lived an exemplary personal life and was a consummate professional throughout his business career. He was loved, respected and admired by all who knew him. His lifelong passion was to pass along his knowledge and insight to young startups and make the journey into entrepreneurship exciting and gratifying.
His favorite years of education were experienced at Monson Academy where he graduated in 1947. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 1952. He also received a commission in the US Navy Supply Corps. as an Ensign.
After graduation from RPI, McCray joined Worcester Forged Valve Steel Company as a sales engineer. Partnering with Homer McNut, the two purchased Worcester Valve, and in 1956 introduced a "three piece design" ball valve that would become one the most copied designs in the industry.
In 1964 McCray bought out McNut's share of the business and changed the company name to Worcester Controls Corporation. He expanded the company internationally to multiple countries including Brazil, Argentina, Israel, England, France, Germany Belgium and Mexico. Worcester Controls went public in 1972 with a listing on the American Stock Exchange. In 1978 Worcester Controls was purchased by a British Company.
This opportunity opened the window for Bob to begin his career as an Angel investor looking to connect people with ideas that would help all involved thrive and achieve their fullest potential.
He has been on the Board of Directors of 6 publicly held companies and served on the Executive Committee of both the Associated Industries of Massachusetts and the Business and Industries Association of New Hampshire. He was also the chairman of the VMA (Valve Manufacturers of America).
He received several professional awards including the New Hampshire High Technology Council's "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" and their "Lifetime Achievement Award." Bob was the first recipient of the UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics "Entrepreneurial Venture/ Creation Person of the Year Award'.
Bob was predeceased by his daughter, Sharon. His family includes his wife of 60 years, Joyce (Berwick); two sons, Robert Jr. and Scott; daughter-in- law, Gina; and his granddaughter, Maria, all of Los Angeles; a nephew, Steven; two great nephews, Mike and Douglas; and a great niece, Christy. His love and guidance will be missed by all.
There will be no calling hours. For those who would like to share in the celebration of Bob's life, a memorial gathering will be held at the Ferlins' home on September 10, 2016 between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. The address is 88 Dow Road, Hollis, New Hampshire 03049.
The George D Morrow and the Henry Wesley and Ruth Benton scholarship funds have been set up at the Wilbraham Monson Academy in memory of two of his favorite teachers. Donations may be made directly to either of these two scholarship funds at the Wilbraham Monson Academy, 423 Main Street, Wilbraham, Massachusetts 01095. Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm Street, Milford, NH. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to www.smith-heald.com
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 12, 2016