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John David Wray

July 2, 1944 March 9, 2019
John David Wray
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Obituary for John David Wray

John David Wray was born on July 2, 1944, to Ruth Helen Kleinpeter and Ozie Adkin Wray in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The family later moved to Dallas, Texas, where he graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1962. John went on to obtain a BA in zoology from the University of Texas in 1969, and his master’s degree from Stephen F. Austin University in 1972. He served as a conservation scientist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for 28 years. He was especially glad to have been part of the discovery of a new species, the San Felipe gambusia.
John continued to pursue his love for nature and conservation throughout his life. He spent much of his time in retirement exploring the parks in and around San Antonio. He liked to go on hikes with his family and point out different plants and trees and their various uses.
John was very proud of his family. He loved to recount the memory of his son telling classmates that he wanted to be a “birocerous” like his dad. He shared a love of plants with his grandson. He loved his twin granddaughters, and as a twin himself, enjoyed seeing them together. He often entertained his family by telling jokes and stories, using ridiculous accents. He traveled out of state for every family wedding and reunion that came around, never passing up an opportunity to see his relatives.
John was not afraid of adventure. His family was surprised to see him willing to ride any roller coaster. In the last year of his life, he was grateful to travel to New Mexico to see his twin brother and family, sharing meals and hiking the Tsankawi Ruins Trail. He loved music, and just two weeks before his death, he traveled to Dallas to see Sarah Brightman in concert for the fourth time. His family was blessed to see him during that visit and celebrate their birthdays with him.
John is survived by his son, Steven and wife Sonya; grandchildren, Adam, Erin, and Jenna; brother, Bill and wife Karen; nephews David, and Kevin and wife Jami; many cousins; and friend, Gloria.
Charitable donations can be made in his honor to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.


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