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Born November 16, 1938 – Died September 4, 2022 Leo Russell Bray was born November 16, 1938, to Clyde and Pearl (Russell) Bray in Lowry City, Mo.. He fought a valiant fight against Mesothelioma for the last four years but passed away peacefully, at the age of 83 years old, on September 4, 2022, at his home in Independence, Mo., with his wife, Alice and his beloved dog Sam at his bedside.
Leo attended a one room country school during his grade school years then went to the Lowry City High School. He was involved in school choirs and was a high jump track star who was granted a scholarship to college. He graduated in 1956 and chose to go straight to work in Kansas City, Mo. He worked very hard to support his four children at the following jobs: Sears Corporation, Braniff Airlines, Ford Motor Company and then he worked 30 years for Armco Steel and worked his way up to being one of their accountants. After retirement, he worked six more years for Enterprise Rental Cars delivering cars across the city.
Leo had a passion for music, he had perfect pitch and could play any instrument he picked up, including plucking a branch off a tree limb and making a whistle. For 37 years, he was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Independence and held the office of Elder and Trustee. He thoroughly enjoyed singing in the church choir for 35 years. He also sang with the Declarations of Independence for many years.
Leo enjoyed traveling the United States, Mexico, Bahamas, Hawaii several times and his all-time favorite to Australia and New Zealand.
Leo was multi-talented and had many hobbies including his love of cars. He kept a running list of (over 90) cars he owned in his lifetime. He loved all living plants and animals. He had a green thumb and could make anything grow, including his banana tree. He loved feeding and watching the birds in his yard and dearly loved his dog, “Sam 3” who will grieve him always. He loved to read and kept his reading materials by his favorite chair. Leo loved antiquing and you could see him all over town at estate and garage sales asking prices and requesting if they could be reduced (even if it was only a $1). He was a talented woodworker who enjoyed finding antique tables and refurbishing them back to their natural beauty. He modeled for a modeling company in Kansas City that produced advertisements for local magazines. He even played a part, as an extra, in the movies “Truman” and “Kansas City”.
Leo loved his coffee buddies from Armco Steel and Denny’s, that met for coffee daily – 365 days a year, Including Christmas breakfast at Leo, and Alice’s home. He also had coffee with his Hub Motorcycle Shop group that met every Tuesday. These men were dear friends.
Leo served on many Boards throughout his life. He was on the Election Board and was the Executive member who had to deliver ballots. He served on The Independence Housing Authority Board, and United Consumers’ Credit Union Supervisory Board for many years.
Leo is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Alice (Bellew) Bray; Sheryl Rohrman, their daughter, Independence; his daughters: Paula (Bray) Brown (Steven), Osage Beach; Dana (Bray) Barbo (Gino), Springfield, Mo.; Kayla (Bray) Hogue (Pat), Harrisonville, Mo.and his son, Greg Bray, Osceola, Mo.; Goddaughter: Renada Rasmussen (Tracy), Madison, Wis. Grandchildren: Matthew Brown; Derek Brown (Kyla); Jessica (Brown) Nigro (Tommy); Zachary Brown (Kassi); Brandon Bray (Brittany); Crystal Bray (Russ); Russell Bray; McKenzie Barbo, Garrison Barbo, Remington Barbo, Nathan Hogue and Nicholas Hogue; Great-grandchildren: Moxie Brown, William Brown, Adaline Brown, Gabriel Nigro, Gracelyn Nigro, Luca Nigro, Blakely Brown, Quincy Brown, Lola Jane Bray, Clementine Bray, many nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
Leo was preceded in death by his father and mother, Clyde and Pearl Bray, his brother, Woodrow Bray, his sisters Lyla (Bray) Jones and Lucille (Bray) Donnell.
Leo was saved and had an eternal experience of salvation on Monday night, December 27, 1954, at Lowry City Baptist Church in Lowry City, Mo. He was baptized at Muddy Creek in Lowry City January 23, 1955.
Memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Independence Saturday, September 17 at 1 p.m. with a Visitation/Reception to follow. On October 1, at 1 p.m. there will be a graveside service internment at Iconium Cemetery, 12770 NE Highway C, Osceola, Mo.
There will be a gathering at Iconium General Store following the service. Come enjoy a peach float and something to eat.
In lieu of flowers, Leo asked if contributions were made in his memory, that they be given to two families in need. To honor his request, Memorial contributions to Leo Bray Memorial has been set up at Blue Ridge Bank and Trust, 4200 Little Blue Parkway, Independence, MO, 64057.
Leo will be greatly missed by those that loved him. Even though we are deeply saddened, we rejoice with great happiness because we know he is dwelling in Heaven singing with the heavenly choirs, and we will gather there with him for all eternity to hear his sweet voice again.