PRAY--Malcolm Sheldon Jr., of Greenwich, Connecticut, passed away August 25, 2013 after complications following a stroke. Born in New York City, he was the son of Malcolm Sheldon Pray, Sr. and Frances Parker Pray and brother of Sandra Pray Culbert. The Pray family moved to Greenwich in 1939 where Malcolm lived for the remainder of his life. Malcolm was a graduate of Brunswick School and the University of Virginia. Malcolm owned the largest complex of automobile dealerships in the Town of Greenwich, which he built from 1955 until 1999. He was devoted to his employees and customers, and his concentration on customer service earned the Pray Automobile Corporation organization a national reputation for excellence of which he was very proud. In 1999, he sold his business so he could create the Pray Achievement Center where he has inspired many young people to make goals and reach for them. He used his extensive collection of exotic vintage cars to incentivize young people with a desire to be successful. Since it opened in 2001, over eight thousand visitors have heard Mr. Pray's message of encouragement and learned the steps necessary to be successful in the world of business today. Malcolm has received many youth organization, civic and charitable awards for his continued efforts with local charities throughout his lifetime. The Greenwich Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich, Greenwich Red Cross, USO of Metropolitan New York, and the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce are among the recipients of his energy and contributions. For over forty years he worked enthusiastically with local and national Republican Party candidates and was awarded the Prescott Bush Award from the Connecticut Republicans in 1998. He was a proud American and a true patriot. He chaired two National Dealer Councils (Volkswagen and Porsche-Audi) in addition to an automobile trade association of imported car dealers in the United States, the Connecticut Volkswagen Dealers and Connecticut Automotive Trades Association. He is survived by his wife, Natalie, daughters Sabrina Forsythe and her daughters, Courtney and Nicole Fischer, Melanie (Lilly) Pray and her daughter Portia Pray of Boulder, Colorado, Justina Pray and her daughter Natasha and son Parker Grayson, and Malcolm's sister Sandra Pray Culbert. Malcolm was pre-deceased by his son, Malcolm Sheldon Pray, III who died in 1986. Malcolm's wish was that his greatest legacy would be the Pray Achievement Center, in Banksville, New York, and he made plans to endow the Center for the future. In lieu of flowers, we ask that contributions be made to the Pray Family Foundation, which will operate the Achievement Center, so that we may continue the Malcolm Pray mission of inspiring young minds. There will be a Memorial Service on Saturday, September 21st at 11am at the First Presbyterian Church in Greenwich, followed by a reception to celebrate Malcolm's life.
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Published in The New York Times on Sept. 1, 2013