Ski Shop Entrepreneur
Wilburn McBay, 69, founder and president of Ski Chalet, a chain of ski and sporting goods stores, died Sept. 27 at Georgetown University Hospital. He had Parkinson's disease.
Mr. McBay, of McLean, started the chain of ski shops with a store in Arlington in 1969 after he designed a new kind of alpine ski.
He eventually opened Ski Chalet shops in Gaithersburg, Tysons Corner, Richmond and Chantilly, which later became the chain's flagship store and site of its management offices.
Mr. McBay served on the boards of the Parkinson's Foundation of the National Capital Area and Sports Specialists Limited, a specialty ski and snowboard retail buying group.
He was born in Eunice, Mo. Growing up, he excelled in sports, especially as a high school and collegiate sprinter.
After serving as an Army medic in Germany in the mid-1950s, he graduated from what is now the University of Missouri at Rolla with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He became a surveyor with the National Park Service, working at Yellowstone National Park. In the 1960s, he worked as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office in Washington and attended George Washington University law school at night.
Survivors include his wife, Sharon McBay of McLean; two children, Shauna McBay of New Haven, Conn., and Matthew McBay of Arlington; six sisters; and four brothers.
Gordon Winston Wray
Carpenter, Store Manager
Gordon Winston Wray, 90, a union carpenter and retail store manager, died of a lung ailment Oct. 12 at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He lived in the Washington area since 1937.
In 1964, Mr. Wray worked as a union carpenter for several area construction companies. He used his carpentry skills on the Bay Bridge as well as homes and other buildings in the metropolitan area.
He also did retail work at area stores. Before his construction work, he was a manager at Lerner's Clothing Store in Old Town Alexandria in the 1950s. In the 1960s, he worked at a Sears & Roebuck Co. store in Southeast Washington.
He retired in 1979 but continued to doing carpentry work for many more years.
Mr. Wray was born in Greenville, Miss., and attended two-year college there. He was a platoon sergeant in the Marine Corps during World War II, stationed at Quantico. He also was with the Civilian Conservation Corps, working on the battlefield at Vicksburg, Miss.
He was a member of the Moose Lodge in Northern Virginia from 1979 to 1985. He lived in Fairlington Meadows in Arlington and was an active volunteer there, planting trees and otherwise beautifying the neighborhood. He was on his condominium association's building and grounds committee.
He was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Parish in the District.
His wife, Ruth Widmer Wray, whom he married in 1943, died in 1984. A son died in infancy.
Survivors include three daughters, Madelon Difiglio of Arlington, Jeannine Wray of the District and Margaret Taylor of Fredericksburg, Va; two half-brothers; two grandsons; a step-grandson; and two step-great-grandchildren.
Janet K. Hays
Research Librarian, Bicyclist
Janet K. Hays, 69, a research librarian at the Library of Congress, community leader and bicycle activist, died Oct. 26 of pancreatic cancer at her home in Reston.
Mrs. Hays was born in Albany, N.Y., and grew up in the Boston area and on Long Island, N.Y. She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1956 and attended a semester program at American University, where she met her husband, Dick Hays. They were married in 1956.
After spending several years in California, Mrs. Hays moved with her family to Reston in 1967. The Hayses were one of the first 500 families to live in the planned community and were deeply involved in Reston affairs.
Mrs. Hays received a master's degree in library science from the University of Maryland and worked at the Library of Congress from 1974 to 1997, where her specialty was government law. She also was active in the League of Women Voters, serving as Virginia state secretary for that organization. In addition, she was a volunteer for the Herndon-Reston FISH (Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help), a community assistance program.
Her great passion was bicycle riding. She and her husband played integral roles in getting the W&OD rail line transformed into the W&OD bicycle trail in the early 1980s. She also organized long-distance bike rides through almost every county in Virginia and led bike trips throughout the United States and in several foreign countries, including Mexico, France and Great Britain.
Survivors include her husband of 48 years, of Reston; three sons, Jeffrey Hays of Osaka, Japan, Steven Hays of Reston and Michael Hays of Denver; and four grandchildren.
Michael Jay Shama
Corps of Engineers Planner
Michael Jay Shama, 58, a civilian planner for the Army Corps of Engineers, died Oct. 19 of cancer at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. He lived in Beltsville.
Mr. Shama held a variety of positions after joining the Corps of Engineers in 1977. At the time of his death, he was the chief planning officer with the corps' concepts, plans and doctrine branch in Washington.
He was instrumental in creating the Corps of Engineers' operations center and in developing plans for managing responses to natural disasters and wartime emergencies worldwide. He played an important role in strengthening the nation's security planning since Sept. 11, 2001.
He worked with military commanders in the field to prepare technical support operations for combat forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He helped develop tele-engineering efforts, using satellite technology to allow engineers to solve remote engineering problems without having to visit the site. He also served as an adviser to the Army Science Board and worked extensively with other federal agencies.
Mr. Shama was born in Lafayette, Ind., and grew up in Silver Spring, graduating from Northwood High School in 1964. From March 1968 to September 1970, he served as an Army helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam and as a training pilot at Fort Wolters, Tex. He received the Bronze Star and 40 awards of the Air Medal.
After leaving the Army as a chief warrant officer in 1970, Mr. Shama continued to fly helicopters for the Maryland Army National Guard until 1973.
He received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland in 1973 and worked as a design and project engineer with Greenhorne & O'Mara Inc. in Riverdale until 1977. He received a master's degree in engineering from Catholic University in 1982.
He was an original member of the Rainbow Family Christian Center in Silver Spring. He also was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the University of Maryland Alumni Association.
Survivors include his wife of 34 years, De Lene Shama of Beltsville; two children, Philip Shama of Houston and Faith Marie Shama of Beltsville; his mother, Jane Shama of Jacksonville, Fla.; a sister, Pat Shama of Beavercreek, Ohio; and a granddaughter.