When War Came to Baylor Law School: James W. Wray Jr., 1922-2014
James W. Wray Jr. (JD '47), 91, passed away after a short illness on Feb. 13, 2014. Wray is featured in the recently published spring issue of our alumni magazine, Docket Call, which focuses on Baylor Lawyers who served in the military during World War II. We profiled four Baylor Lawyers who are still with us in order to illustrate the impact the war had on Baylor Law School and to emphasize that Baylor Law's contribution to "The Greatest Generation" is quietly passing. The Spring 2014 issue of Docket Call was printed the very week Wray passed away. We regret that he did not have an opportunity to see just how much he and his service to his country meant to Baylor Law.
Due to a reporting error in the Docket Call article on Wray, the story states that Wray arrived on the shores of Normandy a few days after the initial D-Day invasion. This is incorrect. Wray was the captain of a naval vessel that landed during the second or third wave of the invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944. We apologize for the error.
Wray was born Feb. 28, 1922 in Waco to Cue Phillips and Jimmy Wray. The younger Wray attended Baylor University and graduated in 1943. Like most young men of his time, he answered the call of duty and entered the United States Navy and was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 1943. After the D-Day invasion, Wray continued to serve his country in the Pacific Theater. Following the war, Wray returned home and obtained his law degree from Baylor Law School in 1947. Following graduation, Baylor Law School requested that Wray stay on as a torts instructor to incoming law students.
After a year as an instructor, Wray moved to Corpus Christi and entered private practice with the law firm of Lewright, Dyer, Redford, Burnett, Wray and Woolsey, where he practiced law for more than 30 years. Wray continued to practice law in Corpus Christi with the law firm of Chaves, Obregon, & Perales until he was 91 years of age. Every day he reported for duty, willing to help and mold young lawyers.
Wray served as president of the Corpus Christi Bar Association, State Bar director for District 11, director of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Texas State chairman for the American College of Trial Lawyers, and was a member of many other prestigious legal and community organizations throughout his legal career. The State Bar of Texas in 2005 recognized Wray as one of the most outstanding lawyers in Texas.
Wray was preceded in death by his wife, Beverly Marshall, and his sister, Margaret Wray Keton. He is survived by two daughters and their families, Nancy and Cletus Dodd and Sara and Martin White; five grandchildren, Elizabeth (Dodd), and husband, Lloyd Conaway, Margaret Dodd, Martin Wray White, William White, and Maude White; and two great granddaughters, Ellen James Conaway and Margaret Grace Conaway.