James Joseph Bray, Sr., passed away in the early morning hours of December 30th at his home in Jerseyville. Jim, aged 86, at the time of his death, was born to John Thomas and Edna Mary (Edwards) Bray on January 16, 1934 in Jerseyville. Jim attended the local catholic school and Jersey Community High School where he graduated in 1954, he then entered the United States Airforce. After high school he went to work for his brother-in-law Charles Cook, whom he called “Cook” at his television repair shop in Jerseyville, that is where he learned his love for electronics. Over his 60-year career he worked for Lincoln Mercury, General Telephone, Graybar, Scott Airforce Base, and Continental Telephone where he was a regional manager. Jim ended his career with almost 20 years of service to the State of Illinois CMS telecom division retiring when he was 77 years old. He was also a Republican Committee Man in Jerseyville for 30 years. Jim was a devout Catholic and giving out rosaries to the first communion children gave him so much peace in his later years. Jimmy, as his siblings called him, had nine brothers and sisters which he loved dearly: Helen Seago, Edna Cook, Katie Bleicher, Lois Bray, Margie McIntyre, Doris Shaw, John Bray, Bob Bray, and Jeanne Miller. In 1955, Jim married Ann (Shanks) Bray and together they raised 4 children: James Joseph, Jr. of Grafton, David Brian (Cindy) Bray of Kane, Mary Ann (Bray) Bartels of Jerseyville, and Jennifer Lee (Bray) Bishop also of Jerseyville. His grandchildren include Douglas (Stacey) Bray of Florissant, MO., Christopher (Liz) Bray of Edwardsville, Andrew (Leah) Bray of Bunker Hill, Michael (Monica) Bartels of Jerseyville, Nicholas (Katelyn) Bartels of Dow, Christian (Lydia) Kline of Jerseyville, Delaney Bray of Kane, Evan Bartels of Jerseyville, and Sophia Bishop also of Jerseyville. Jim was also blessed with eight great-grandchildren and another on the way in January. Jim is survived by one brother Bob (Joy) Bray of Jerseyville, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends, and a special companion, Mary Strebel and her family. In his last hours dad continued to show his humorous side and voiced his sincere love for all mentioned plus more. He was a great father and will be sorely missed.
Per his wishes, cremation took place and a service will be held at a later date.
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