Harold “Harry” Wray passed away August 21, 2017 in Duluth, Georgia. Graveside services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 20, 2017 at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Spalding, NE. Dolce-Scheef Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements.
Harry was born on April 24, 1931 in Spalding, Nebraska to Joseph and Gladys Wray. A multi-sport athlete for Spalding Academy, he followed his older brothers playing football, basketball and track.
Harry graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BS in history and education. Following his graduation, Harry spent the summer bicycling around Europe and shared his adventure through the Spalding Enterprise. He returned to the University of Nebraska for his Masters.
Harry went onto the University of Hawaii and earned his Ph.D. in Far Eastern History. Harry taught at the University of Illinois and then he fulfilled a life-long dream, moving to Japan, taking a position with Yokohama National University. Harry lived in Japan for 27 years and in that time taught at Tsukuba National University, Nanzan University, Oka University and Aichi Mizuho University. Dr. Wray was an eminent pioneer of the research field on the educational reform under the U.S. Occupation. Since the Meisei University Research Center for Postwar Educational History of Japan was established in 1983, he was a leading contributor to the Research Bulletin of Educational History of the Postwar Japan. At the same time, while he was assigned as a guest professor at the Meisei University, he energetically conducted nearly 100 interviews with high ranking occupational officers and officers of Ministry of Education. The Records of the interviews were donated to the University and preserved there as “Harry Wray Oral History Collection”. It is highly appreciated as a valuable cultural heritage for all researchers of Occupational history.
He wrote many books and had them translated into Japanese language, such as Educational Reform and Censorship and Japanese Interpretation on the Atomic Bombings. Especially the latter book, published in 2015, brings forward a meaningful argument to demonstrate the controversy against a Japanese scholar. It is a deep regret that the book has become his last work.
During his stay in Japan, Harry and his wife established a non-profit program called Can Help Thailand, with an objective of providing a lunch program and scholarship for the poor students in Thailand. This entity still exists and is supported by Japanese donors.
Harry moved back to the U.S in 2010 and has resided near Atlanta, GA for the past seven years.
Harry is survived by his wife Miyuki, sons Stephen and David and daughter Jennifer and seven grandchildren, brother Jack, sister Elizabeth (Betty) and Mother-in-law Kato Shiono. He was preceded in death by his daughter Marcy, parents Joe and Gladys, brothers Ed, Dean and Rich, and sisters Eileen, Margaret and Mary.
Harry will be so missed by all his many nieces and nephews and friends who held him in high regard for his wit, compassion, and genuine interest in their lives.
Harry’s service was held at the Catholic Church of St. Monica in Duluth, GA on August 29th. Harry will be interred at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Spalding.