Grimsby citizens were greatly shocked and deeply grieved on Saturday morning last to hear of the death of James A. Wray, for many years prominent in the mercantile, municipal and fraternal life of the district.
Deceased had been in poor health for some years but had been around as usual all last week and his passing away in his sleep on Friday night came as an unexpected shock to his great legion of friends all through the peninsula.
"Jimmy" Wray came to Grimsby 40 years ago as a junior member of the hardware, plumbing and heating firm of Rodgers, Wray and Greenway. A few years later he severed his connection with this firm and branched out for himself and in the course of time built up one of the largest businesses of its kind in this section of the country. During that period, in conjunction with Clinton McCoy, now of New Philadelphia, O., they constructed the present fine Temple building on Main Street. He retired from active business some years ago and became a commercial traveller for plumbers' supplies until his health failed him.
He served on Grimsby Village council in the years 1919-20 and was Chairman of the Fire and Light Committee in 1920 that purchased Grimsby's first motorized fire truck, which is still doing duty. At the time of his demise he was a member of the local Hydro Commission and had been for some years a member of the Board of Trustees of the Beach school and had had much to do with the development of his school into one of the finest rural schools in Ontario.
Since the outbreak of war he was Chairman of the Grimsby and North Grimsby Salvage Committee and did an admirable job of gathering hundreds of tons of salvage of all kinds to further the war effort. Only 10 days ago he completed the task of the Spring salvage drive and accumulated one of the largest amounts of salvage ever gathered.
He was a past master of Union Lodge, No. 7, A.F. & A.M., G.R.C., No, 69, Royal Arch Masons, and a Past Grand Supt. of Royal Arch Masonic for Niagara District.
Born in Drayton, Ontario, 65 years ago, he early learned the plumbing and steam heating trade and travelled extensively at his work before settling in Grimsby.
Surviving are his wife, the former Ethel McCallum of Perth, and four sisters, Mrs. Ralph Ripley, Hamilton; Mrs. Kenneth McLean, Saskatoon; Mrs. Rolph Jenkins, Toronto, and Mrs. D.J. Smith, in Florida.
Services under the auspices of Union Lodge No. 7 A.F. & A.M., were conducted from the Stonehouse Funeral Home on Tuesday afternoon and despite the very inclement weather were very largely attended. The floral tributes were many and most beautiful. Rev. Francis McAvoy of St. John's Presbyterian Church conducted the services. Interment taking place in Queen's Lawn Cemetery.
Casket bearers were Gordon and Awrey Lipsitt, A.F. Hawke, David Thomson, Albert Jarvis, J.H. Culp.