JOHN LEE WRAY
July 10, 1925 - July 7, 2019
John Lee Wray grew up in the West Virginia Appalachians, settled at the foot of the Colorado Rockies, and traveled worldwide as a geologist and paleontologist deciphering the origin and nature of sedimentary rocks. Working in the international petroleum industry most of his career, he became a leading authority on aspects of micropaleontology in relation to oil exploration. He published numerous scientific journal articles, a technical book, and later in his life, three nonscientific books, including a short memoir.
Wray was born July 10, 1925 in Charleston, West Virginia. After graduating from High School and prior to attending university, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II. He began his geological career at West Virginia University and obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1956, he joined Marathon Oil Company as a research geologist at the then newly established Denver Research Center and remained in that dynamic atmosphere of applied research in petroleum exploration for over thirty years.
John married Judith L. Edworthy of Charleston, October 25, 1952. Together they pursued graduate degrees at the University of Wisconsin, following their individual interests, she in speech communication and dramatic arts, and he in the geological sciences.
John Wray died at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado on July 7, 2019 at the age of 93. Judith, his loving wife of sixty-five years, predeceased him, passing in November 2016. He is survived by his son, Christopher; daughter-in-law, Myla; three grandchildren; and one nephew.
Although unlikely to have been a factor in his death, during the last twelve years of his life, John battled with a rare disorder of the peripheral nerves, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP). Despite CIDP's debilitating bodily effects, it did not slow his insatiable enthusiasm for growth and learning, especially in the natural sciences and history.
In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to consider donation in John's memory to the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College: bit.ly/cc-summer-music-festival
A private burial service is planned for family.
A public Memorial Service is scheduled for Sunday, August 4, 2019 at 1:00PM, Shove Memorial Chapel, Colorado College, 1010 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.
Published by The Gazette on Jul. 21, 2019.