Waynedale Obituaries


WILLIAM J. MCCRAY, 63, passed away October 28, 2014 at Lutheran Hospital. Arrangements were by D.O. MComb & Sons Pine Valley Park Funeral Home at 1320 East DuPont Road. Visiting hours were 2pm to 4 pm and 6 pm to 8pm Friday, November 7th and 1 hour prior to the service at 1 pm on Saturday, November 8th with interment at Highland Park Cemetery, Fort Wayne, IN.

William, a Navy Veteran and ex-parachute rigger 2nd Class Petty Officer was better known as W.J. by friends and relatives alike. After the Navy, he worked for Victor Gaskets in Churabusco, IN and retired not long ago. He was an Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 44 and held that position for several years. The troop met at the Scout Cabin located at the corner of Ardmore Avenue and Lower Huntington Road.

He was known for preparing what the boys jokingly called ‘FIRE STARTER’ CHILI (it was rumored that it only took a half cup of this concoction to get a medium sized log to burst into flames). He spent many a campout teaching boys how to make their own rope, how to tie knots, and about the joy of fishing. Several times he demonstrated how to cook chicken on a spit in the fireplace of the old Scout cabin; this made the boys eager to come to the meetings to see what ol’ W.J. (actually they respectfully called him Mr. McCray) would be cooking up next.

He had a unique ability in that he could only paddle a canoe backwards and he was accused of either sawing logs or calling buffalo in his sleep. His remark to his accusers was, “I’m going to get some ear plugs.” When asked, “Are they for the troop?” His answer would be, “NO, they’re for me to drown out your complaining so I can get some sleep.” He never caught the person or persons that scattered sawdust around his cot (the boys couldn’t find any buffalo chips). He was an avid fisherman, he loved deer hunting, and he did truly have a good sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.

He is survived by daughters: Andi McCray of Fort Wayne, Alix (Joe) Harry & Grandson Xander of Chesterton, IN, a sister Susan (Terry) Jensen of Fort Wayne, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

W.J. was preceded in death by his parents William Audie and J. Kathryn (McCune) McCray, and his younger brother Robert Bruce McCray. His wife Marsha (Smith) McCray passed away one year ago.

Memorials to the Northside Missionary Church (Elevator Fund), 736 Lillian Avenue, Fort Wayne, IN 46812.

The Waynedale News Staff
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