VULCAN — William R. Bray, 90, of Vulcan, formerly of Indianapolis, passed away Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wis.
He was born on January 29, 1929, in Vulcan, the son of the late Martin and Victoria (Piasta) Bray.
William graduated from Vulcan High School in 1947, where he was a star basketball player. He attended Michigan State University for one year after high school before being drafted by the U.S. Army on December 7, 1950.
William joined the 25th Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment and did his training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. As a Sergeant 1st Class, William served on the front lines of the battlefield during the Korean Conflict and experienced some of the coldest winter months. His war experiences where very brutal and he saw many of his fellow soldiers killed.
After leaving the service he moved to Hammond, Indiana where he met and married Stella M. Kucharski.
From there, he relocated to Indianapolis and became a branch manager for Superior Tea and Coffee Company where he worked for nearly 50 years.
William loved the outdoors, especially fishing, and spent many quality hours fishing with his son, Jeff. He was also an avid gardener and enjoyed growing his own fresh fruits and vegetables.
In 2014 William rescued a little black cat that showed up on his door in Indianapolis and their bond became very special, he called her his little monkey.
William is survived by his sons, Robert (Carmen) Bray of Snellville, Ga., Gary (Cathy) Bray of Indianapolis and Jeff Bray, formerly of Indianapolis, now residing in Vulcan; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Stella on Jan. 21, 1997; his son Patrick Bray; brothers, Benedict J. Bray and Raymond Bray, who was a former All-Pro Football player for the Chicago Bears from 1940 to 1950; and his sister Kay Bray.
Visitation will be 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Ortman Funeral Home in Norway.
Funeral services will follow at 4 p.m. Wednesday, with Fr. Timothy Ekaitis, pastor of St. Barbaras Church, officiating.
Interment will be held on Saturday, March 2 at Calvary Cemetery in Indianapolis.
The family suggests that Memorial Contributions may be made to the Almost Home Animal Shelter in Quinnesec.
Condolences to the family of William may be expressed online at www.ortmanfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements were made with the Ortman Funeral Home in Norway.