North Santa Rosa

Jeroel D. Bray


Jeroel D. “J.D.” (Mayor) Bray, 91, of Jay, Florida, passed away, Thursday, October 6 th , 2011 at his home after an extended illness.

J.D. was born on Christmas Day, December 25 th , 1919, in Jay, Fl. to H.H. “Hub” and Alice Bray.   He grew up on the family farm with his brothers: Charlie (Birdie), C.H. “Chab” (Margie), Burley, Raymond, and his sisters: Beatrice (Earlie) Hall, Mattie (Leonard) Mattox, Myrtle Bray and Maudie (Burley) Lashley.   J.D. helped on the family farm and attended Jay School where he enjoyed playing football, baseball and basketball.

J. D. enlisted in the U.S.Army in 1938 and was sent to the Panama Canal after basic training.   At the onset of WWII, J.D., found himself in Europe fighting Hitler’s Army.   He was in the infantry and fought in the Battle of the Bulge where many lives were lost.   J.D. attained the rank of Sergeant and received an honorable discharge in 1945.

J.D. returned home and got a job with the EREC as a lineman.   In his spare time he played on the town baseball and basketball team. He also acquired some land and farmed a short time.

In 1952 he married Theda Warrick Bray in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

They bought and operated a local service station and later he went to work with the Santa Rosa County Road Department where he retired in 1988.   J.D. also developed a taste for politics and served as a Jay City Councilman in 1954-56.   He was elected as Mayor and served for 44 years.   The “mayor” oversaw the town and watched it thrive.   The little town got many paved roads, a city sewer system, a new city hall and a community center.   The town acquired two parks one of which is named Bray-Hendricks Park in his honor.

J.D. was a lifetime member of the American Legion and past commander of Edeker-DuBose Post 121 in Jay, Fl.   J.D. was also a 32 ° freemason and a member of Red Rock Masonic Lodge #96 in Munson, Fl

J. D. loved to garden and planted much more than his family needed.   He delighted in giving vegetables to his friends and neighbors. J.D. also enjoyed watching Florida State Football games and was a true Seminole.   Mostly J.D. enjoyed his daily rides to town and the peanut coop where he could visit with friends.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Theda, three children; Debbie (Michael) Gilley of Vienna, Austria, Cheryl Bray of Allentown, Fl., Stewart (Maria) Bray of Middleburg, Fl, grandson, S.J .Bray,   granddaughter, Meghan Gilley, great-granddaughter .Tristan Bray and   his sister, Myrtle Bray of Century, Fl.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, October 11 th , 2011 at 11 a.m. at Jay Funeral Home with Pastor Earle Greene officiating.   Burial will follow at Jay Cemetery with Masonic and Military services.   Visitation will be Monday from 6-8pm at Jay Funeral Home, 3853 Hwy 4, Jay, Fl.

The family requests donations are made to Covenant Hospice in lieu of flowers.

The family wishes to thank all who supported us during this difficult time.   Special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Kelley, Dr. David Smith, Jay Hospital, Jay Fire Department, Senior Home Health, Covenant Hospice (Traci, Cathy and Al), and Diane Freeman Support Services (Christie).

Jay Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Posted by on Oct 8 2011. Filed under Obits. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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