James R. Wray, geographer, cartographer

James R. Wray, a geographer and cartographer who retired from the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Mapping Division in 1985, died Jan. 5 at Riderwood assisted-living center in Silver Spring. He was 90 and a longtime resident of Silver Spring.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said his son, David J. Wray.

At the Geological Survey, Mr. Wray was a senior scientist in the office of Geographic and Cartographic Research. He was among the early users of computer-based mapping and satellite imagery.

James Ronald Wray was born in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated in 1944 from the University of Chicago, where he also received a master’s degree in geography in 1948.

Before joining the USGS in 1968, he worked for the Census Bureau in Washington and the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau in New York. He also taught geography and mapping at colleges, including the University of Maryland.

His first wife, Floy Winnett Wray, whom he married in 1945, died in 1983.

Survivors include his wife since 1984, Virginia Jok Yee Wray of Silver Spring; four children from his first marriage, Carol W. Webster of Columbia, Md., Jeanne W. Wilson of Lexington, Va., Christine R. Wray of Leonardtown, Md., and David J. Wray of Chantilly, Va.; a stepson, Wayne Yee of Boulder, Colo.; and six grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes

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