John Cray

Obituary of John Cray

John D. Cray, 83, formerly of Burlington, passed away Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at Briarwood Health Care Center in Iowa City.

John David Cray was born September 20, 1933 in Burlington, Iowa; son of Glenn F. and Nelle F. (Leibengood) Cray. After graduation from Burlington High School in 1951, John attended the University of Iowa where he earned his B.A. in 1955 and went on to graduate with distinction from the University of Iowa Law School in 1957. While at Iowa, he played trombone in the Hawkeye Marching Band, was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity and later Phi Delta Phi law school fraternity, served on the editorial staff of the Law Review and was a member of the U of I student council.

On July 18, 1959, John married Beverly Waugh in Burlington. He joined the law firm of Poor, Cray, Walter and Youngstrom in 1957, becoming a partner in 1962 (Cray, Walter, Cray & Loeschen) where he would practice until his retirement in 2011. He and Beverly were proud lifetime residents of Burlington until 2013 when they moved to Iowa City to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Some of John’s social and professional affiliations include the Burlington Kiwanis Club, Burlington Jaycees, Burlington Chamber of Commerce (past President) and Burlington Sportsman’s Club. He was a 50+ year member of the Iowa Bar Association, past President of the Des Moines County Bar Association, former President and trustee of the Burlington Library Board, member of the Burlington Medical Center Board (past President) and the Burlington Armory Board. John was also a longtime member of Christ Episcopal Church where he served as Senior Warden of the vestry.

When not traveling, golfing, reading, playing tennis, duck hunting or boating, John might be found welcoming visitors at the Burlington Welcome Center, sharing a joke with friends at their morning coffee group or more importantly to him, spending time with his family. More recently, John was able to enjoy performances at the new Hancher Auditorium.

His family includes his wife, Beverly; sister, Elaine Edwards of Emporia, KS; son, Scott Cray (Julie) of Iowa City and daughter, Susan Hagan (David) of Coralville; grandchildren, David and Emily Cray, and Patrick, Liam, Katie ‘Kat,’ and Sean Hagan as well as several nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Glenn F. Cray Jr. and infant daughter, Valerie.

John’s family would like to acknowledge and thank his caregivers, the staff at Briarwood Care Center and Essence of Life Hospice for the genuine and loving care they provided.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions in John’s name may be directed to the Iowa Law School Foundation or Essence of Life Hospice. Memories and online condolences may be shared with his family at