George Downing Wray Jr.
George Downing Wray, Jr.

SHREVEPORT, LA - George Downing Wray departed this life on Saturday, April 26, 2008. He collapsed due to an aortic aneurysm, which he suffered while attending an opera at the Riverview Theater. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 275 Southfield Road in Shreveport on Wednesday, April 30, 2008, at 12:30 p.m. with a reception in the Church Parlor afterwards. Officiating will be the Reverend Guido Verbeck, III, assisted by the Reverend Paul Martin. Family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at Rose-Neath Marshall Street Funeral Home.

George was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on June 23, 1915, to George Downing Wray and Jane Newton Wray. He graduated from C.E. Byrd High School, attended Virginia Military Institute, and graduated from Tulane University where he had studied business and history. He worked in the first air conditioning business in Shreveport, then left to serve in the Army during the Second World War. He attained the rank of Captain, fighting in the Pacific Theatre. After returning home from the War, he met and married Geraldine (Jerry) Smitherman, and started in the automobile business with his father at Wray-Dickinson Company (founded 1911). He served as president of Wray Ford for many years before his son took over the business. With his father and two brothers, Newton Wray and Charles Wray, he was a founder of KTBS TV and was a pioneer in radio and television broadcasting in the Ark-La-Tex. He also served on the Board of Directors of Commercial National Bank for many years.

Mr. Wray served as an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Shreveport. He also taught Sunday school there when his children were growing up. During the past 20 years he was an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Mr. Wray was a long-time member of The Rotary Club of Shreveport, the Shreveport Country Club, the Shreveport Club, Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club, the Holiday-in-Dixie Cotillion Club (Rex XXXVIII), and the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.

George Wray was an involved member of the community. He loved spending time with his family and numerous friends. He enjoyed history, Shakespeare, and the Opera. Mr. Wray had a life long passion for automobiles and the automobile business. He was nationally recognized as a leader in the automobile industry. He often enjoyed repairing automobiles as well as selling them. He was patient, loyal, and gentle. He was proud of the achievements of his family in business and the arts, and he was proud to have been a "good soldier" while serving his country in WW II.

Mr. Wray was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Edwin Newton Wray and Charles Winningham Wray; his sisters Evelyn Wray Smith and Mozelle Wray; and his sister-in-law Helen Heath Wray (Mrs. Charles Wray) and special friends Richard Johnson and Bennie Wiley Greene.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Geraldine Smitherman Wray; his four children, Mary Virginia Wray Hill and husband Kevin B. Hill of Shreveport, LA, Deanie Wray Galloway of Bossier City, LA, George D. Wray III and wife Allison Lange Wray of Shreveport, LA, and Nancy Wray Armistead and husband Charles W. Armistead, M.D., of Mountain Home, AR; eleven grand-children: Sarah Brandon Colmark and husband Charles Colmark of Albuquerque, NM, Rachel Hill of Shreveport, LA, David Galloway of Grapevine, TX, Kathryn Galloway Jordan and husband Jeffrey Jordan Lafayette, LA, Christine Wray Moody and husband Robbie Moody of Waco, TX, Matthew and William Wray of Shreveport, LA, Chase, Christopher, Grace, and John George Armistead all of Mountain Home, AR. Also surviving him are his sister-in-law Florence Hendrick Wray, nephew Edwin Newton Wray, Jr. and wife Suzanne, niece Lois Wray Rowe and husband Kirby, and niece Betty Wray Anderson and husband Brady, their children and grand-children. Many friends will cherish his memory, as he cherished them, including Jo O'Brien, comptroller of Wray Ford for 55 years; Mary Jackson; R. L. Robinson and Johnetta Johnson.

Serving as pallbearers will be Ed Henderson, Stuart Lunn, Winston Rice, Earle Labor, Joe Huddleston, Harland Hundley, Michael Powell III, and Steven Gehrig. Honorary pallbearers will be E. Alton Sartor and all the Kings of Holiday-in-Dixie Cotillion.

The family suggests memorials be made to St. Pauls Episcopal Church, 275 Southfield Road, Shreveport, LA; Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal, 1700 Buckner Street, Shreveport, LA 71101; the YMCA, 400 McNeil Street, Shreveport, LA 71101; Junior Achievement of North Louisiana, 3003 Knight Street, Shreveport, LA 71105 and Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, 619 Louisiana Avenue, Suite 400, Shreveport, LA 71101.

"We give you thanks, Oh God, for a long and productive life filled with love and Joy" Rose-Neath Funeral Home

Marshall St. Chapel - 222-0348
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Shreveport Times from Apr. 29 to Apr. 30, 2008.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Add a Message


Not sure what to say?



24 Entries
I was George's stockbroker for 30 years. When I first called (cold) on George I was a hotshot 27 year old Wall Street broker who covered Shreveport for Oppenheimer & Co.

On Nov. 8th 1978 he opened an account with me. (I am looking at my notes now...it was for 200 shares of Carrier Corp). I loved talking to him. He was ALWAYS pleasant, but you could NEVER get anything by him because he had that danged Value Line subscription which he ACTUALLY READ and studied until he knew his stocks cold!

He liked me and took me around and introduced me to many Shreveport businessman like Harland Hundley and Tandy Lewis and to his brother Newton. He introduced me to the "Po Boy sandwich" and took me to the Shreveport Country Club for something called pralines and cream or praline pie, which was new for a New York City person.

I talked with him very regularly for 30 years and the last years were the most pleasant. Sorry I had to hang up on you Jerry but I started crying, and I don't cry. May God have mercy on his soul.
Bill Henry
May 9, 2008
I was impressed for the few years that I knew Mr. Wray, that in spite of his quiet affect towards me, he always knew of something current going on in my life rather than in his own. And I admired that quality of the gentleman in him.
Dr. William Spillers
May 4, 2008
Dear Jerry-
I understand how hard this is for you-When the thrill of life is gone, friends and loved ones guide our path into the sunlight again-My love and prayers-
Marcille
May 1, 2008
To The Wray Family:

These times are never easy. Mr. George Wray, Jr. lived a full life. We know he lived doing the things that were important to him and helpful to others. Wisdom abounds from his experiences that he shared with his family and friends. The memories he has left are priceless.
May God comfort you as he brings Mr. Wray into his heavenly home.
Denny Rogers
April 30, 2008
Dear Wray family,
I did not know this loved one personally, but I am honored to know some of his family members.
I am sorry for thie loss of this wonderful man.
He positively influenced many people and organizations in his life.
I am proud to be a member of Shreveport Bossier Community Renewal, knowing that he impacted that organization.
I pray that God's peace and comfort will be with his family and friends, always.
Sarah Tully
April 30, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
sammie foster
April 30, 2008
Dear Wray Family, Our family was deeply saddened upon hearing about your loss. Our thougts and prayers are with you thru-out this trying time. We will always keep dear the stories and lessons that have been taught by Mr. Wray. With Deepest Sympathy, The Bubba Oustalet Family.
Joel Oustalet
April 30, 2008
Dear Wray Family;

May God keep you and comfort you always. Sending you all warm thoughts, hugs, and prayers from Texas.
Alicia Williamson
April 30, 2008
I MET BOTH OF YOU WHEN I WAS GOING TO ST PAUL'S. I REMEMBER THAT WHEN I GOT HIT WITH A BASEBALL IN THE FACE ( YOU COULD COUNT THE STITCHES WHERE THE BALL WAS SEWN TOGETHER) HE CAME UPTO ME AND ASKED ME IF I DID NOT KNOW TO CATCH A BALL WITH A BASEBALL GLOVE. I TOLD HIM THAT I WANTED TO BE DIFFERENT,HE SAID WELL YOU ARE WITH THE BASEBALL EMBLEM ON YOUR FACE. I LAUGHED AND SO DID HE. I WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT STORY THE OTHER NIGHT AT THE VETERANS HOSPITAL WHEN I BROUGHT YOU THE ICE WATER. I JUST FORGOT WITH EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED. PRAYING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. MAY GOD WRAP HIS ARMS OF LOVE AND COMFORT AROUND YOU AND LEAN ON HIM FOR SUPPORT DURING THIS TIME. JUST THINK NOW HE HAS THE HEAVENLY CHOIR TO SING FOR HIM.
PATRICIA MOSES
April 30, 2008
Nancy, Jerry, George, Dini, and Mary Virginia,

I am so sorry to hear that your very special George has passed.

He was absolutely one of the best role models in my life. George always greeted me with a genuine, warm smile and a wonderful twinkle in his eye. He always offered words of encouragement, gave me opportunities to work (several times), was extremely generous, knowledgeable of everything... always cheerful. Even when I did foolish things - like getting his Bronco stuck in the woods (where it had to stay overnight) he was kind - and even when I showed up with a new Honda!

I have wonderful memories of being with him and you all at the house on Spring Lake Drive, the parties, the wine, the darkroom, the Spitfire, Bennie - Bistineau. Thank you all for sharing your special Dad, husband. I quite often think of him tinkering in his shop off the garage saying “Just be happy.” I always loved seeing, talking to him, will miss him but he and your family has left me with great memories. Thank you so much.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I wish I could be there.

Jon Pike
Jon Pike
April 29, 2008
My knee surgery prevents our being there,but our prayers are with you.
Emma D and "Son" Hicks
April 29, 2008
May God richly bless you with all of the wonderful memories of a life well lived. I pray that the Holy Spirit will comfort you and give you peace in the loss of a wonderful husband and father.
Jack Copeland
April 29, 2008
Dear Jerry,
I have this delightful memory of George sitting reading the paper as a group of painters scurried back and forth dragging supplies to your studio. Smiling up occasionally and urging us to 'enjoy yourselves'.
Much love and sympathy to you and your family.
Missy Jordan
missy jordan
April 29, 2008
"Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7
With prayers that through this you'll sense the Lord comforting your heart, and bringing an assuarnce of His love.

With Sympathy
A former employee of Wray Ford 1985
Ira Dean(Scott) Brown
April 29, 2008
Mrs. Wray,
I didn't know you from anyone but when I passed by on Clyde Fant Parkway and saw you standing there it appeared you were alone but you weren't. I had to stop and console you and pray for you and your husband. I'm thankful he didn't suffer. God bless him and your family.
In the days ahead I pray that you will find peace.
Elinor Wilson Horton
April 29, 2008
Dear Jerry, Nancy, and all of the family, How deeply sadden I was to hear of your loss today. Where has the time gone? I have so many wonderful memories of each and every one of you and of your wonderful husband and father. Nancy, I will never forget all the times your Dad took us to the Pac-a-Sac and let us buy an obsence amount of candy, he always spoiled us. All the many wonderful summers at the lake at your camp, and many wonderful sleepovers. Although, it has been years, your family is still very dear to my heart. Please know each and everyone of you are in my thoughts, my prayers, and especially my heart. George Wray was a wonderful man with a wonderful family and life. I join you in spirit in celebrating his wonderful life on this earth. With love, Ginger Tilbury Hoolan
Ginger Hoolan
April 29, 2008
Our prayers go out to all the family. Walter and I enjoyed the many years that he worked at Wray Ford. Mr. Wray was such a delight to all and he will be missed. Love and Prayers,
Kathy and Walter Snelling
Kathy Snelling
April 29, 2008
Dearest Jerri, Nancy, Brud, and all the WRAY family........just saw this on the internet, and Nancy, I am deeply saddenned at your loss......we are with you in spirit and love. Tommy and I would be there if possible, will be calling soon!! I know your dad is at peace and run the race that he made good for all of us during his life with us on earth, we will always remember his smile.......much love always , Mary Ann and Tommy DeFatta
Mary Ann DeFatta
April 29, 2008
Our hearts go out to your family. Mr Wray was just a delight to be around. I enjoyed seeing his smiling face each time he would come into the dealership. We will miss him.
Brenda Wadsworth
April 29, 2008
Dear Jerry, I am so sorry about Mr. George. You and your family are in my prayers.
Melba Miller
April 29, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
JAY WEBB
April 29, 2008
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Frank Charpentier
April 29, 2008
TO THE WRAY FAMILY,
WHAT A SWEET AND WONDERFUL MAN MR. WRAY WAS. I KNOW THAT THE DAYS AND WEEKS TO FOLLOW WILL BE DIFFICULT ONES FOR ALL OF YOU, TAKE COMFORT AND CHERISH THE MEMORIES OF MR. WRAY THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME.

MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

SUSAN MOFFITT
SUSAN MOFFITT
April 29, 2008
The Final Salute

“Brothers in Arms”, Military men and women down through the centuries, have traditionally exchanged “Hand Salutes” as a sign of recognition and as a way to render courtesy and respect one to another.

This “Hand Salute” is the last that we shall render to George Downing Wray, Jr. our Brother-in-Arms. To his family it symbolizes the love and respect that we have for George . And to George it is rendered as a symbol of honor and gratitude to thank him for the devoted and selfless service he rendered to his country during WW-II while serving in the U.S. Army. George we bid you a sad farewell. You will be dearly missed from among our ranks. Be at Ease. Rest in Peace.

On behalf of the 1,355 members of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 of the American Legion, I extend our sympathies and our condolences to George’s family and loved ones.

Dennis Engdahl, Commander, American Legion Post 14
5315 S. Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109
For the Commander, Carroll R. Michaud
April 29, 2008
Showing 1 - 24 of 24 results