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William Leeon Bray was born in Union Springs, Alabama in 1935 to the late John Stovall and Anniebell Bray. He was the second of five siblings. Roosevelt , Charlene, Earlene and John. William was preceded in death by his brothers, Roosevelt Bray and John Calvin Griffin.
He moved with his mother to Cleveland, Ohio when he was about 8 years of age. He attended Cleveland Public Schools, graduating from East Technical High School in 1955.
Bill joined the Army National Guard in 1956, serving several years and climbing to the rank of Sergeant First Class and received an honorable discharge in 1959.
In 1960, Bill married the love of his life, Barbara J. Hawkins. To this union two children were born, Jacquelyn and William. This union celebrated 63 happy years.
Bill worked at the East Cleveland School System in several different capacities, drove a taxi and worked at the Veterans Administrative Hospital before joining the US Postal Service in 1961. He started as a clerk and moved through many positions: General Supervisor, Tour Superintendent, Manager of Distribution and retired as Quality Control, Zero Defects Manager. Bill retired after thirty years.
Bill loved the Lord, his family and the church. He was a charter member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church where he served as an elder until it closed. Bill joined the Abundant Grace Family about fifteen years ago. During that time, he served faithfully as a deacon. For many years Bill along with his son-in-law and two grandsons were dedicated members of the AGF audiovisual team.
Bill was very creative, enjoying art and painting. He was also a patented inventor. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, and also with immediate family and friends. His other great joy was riding his motorcycle and driving his sports cars. Bill shared his love of cars with his son Bill and his nephew Gregory Smith.
Bill leaves to cherish his memory, his devoted and loving wife, Barbara, his darling daughter, Jacquelyn (Abe) Osbourne, his devoted son, William L. (Diane) Bray, his special daughter in Christ, Jenise Bryant, a loving God daughter, Milana Barnes, two cherished grandsons, Benjamin William Osbourne and Jacob Julius Osbourne, two sisters, Earlene Ross of Tuskegee, Alabama and Charlene Wilson of Montgomery Alabama, a brother-in-law, Reverend Johnnie B. Smith of Geneva, Ohio, nephews, Gregory (Lynette) Smith of Atlanta, Georgia, Jeffrey (Valerie) Smith of Ashtabula, Ohio and numerous more nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces and great great nephews and great great-nieces.