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Mr. Conklin Burghardt  Bray

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“Oh, Conklin, we will miss you so much! You always had a smile on your face and yet you were a force at the bridge table. I hope that when I am in...Read More »
1 of 13 | Posted by: Lisa and Cardon Walker - CA

“Conklin was such a fine man and always such a gentleman. We developed our relationship across the bridge table. We will certainly miss the fun times....Read More »
2 of 13 | Posted by: Tom and Maggie Liautaud


3 of 13 | Posted by: Tom and Maggie Liautaud

Conklin 99th BD Cake
4 of 13 | Posted by: Kevin Taylor - Austin, TX

Conklin and Janet at Featherhill Studio Nov2016
5 of 13 | Posted by: Kevin Taylor - Austin, TX

“I've never known anyone quite like Conklin; an amazing energy radiated out from him in the way that you hear people describe gurus and spiritual...Read More »
6 of 13 | Posted by: Kevin Taylor - Austin, TX

“He was the consummate gentleman! ”
7 of 13 | Posted by: Daniel Duane Spyker - Detroit, MI

“Sincere condolences on the transition of Conklin..... I have many fond memories of him.... he was always gracious and a perfect gentleman ....,, fun...Read More »
8 of 13 | Posted by: Barbara Gay - Southfield, MI

I'm remembering heartfelt conversations at gatherings with Mr. Bray. He would look you right in the eyes as he listened and spoke. He'd always have such insight. When you conversed with him, you knew you  were talking to an extraordinary man. “I remember conversations with Mr. Bray. When he listened and when he spoke, he'd look at you eye-to-eye. He was always so insightful and engaging....Read More »
9 of 13 | Posted by: Jackie Reed - Dallas, TX - friend

Conklin & Christopher “Conklin made me feel like family. He inspired me with his heart and mind. He was simply the best of us. ”
10 of 13 | Posted by: Christopher Cross - Austin, TX

“I feel blessed to have met you. ”
11 of 13 | Posted by: Sunny Love - Austin, TX

“In loving memory of a wonderful person. Mr. Bray will always be a Central UMC Saint! Prayers for the Bray Family as you traverse this difficult time....Read More »
12 of 13 | Posted by: Susan Tyler-Davis - Detroit, MI

“I met Conklin many years ago when he was living at Olive Plaza Apts. I was immediately impressed by his enthusiasm, charm and modesty when he...Read More »
13 of 13 | Posted by: Melanie MacQueen - Los Angeles, CA


Conklin Bray made his transition peacefully at home surrounded by his children on August 2, 2018 in Burbank, California at the age of 99.
Conklin was born on November 21, 1918 in Chicago, Illinois to Louis and Mary Bray (nee Lewis). Conklin spent many formative years in Idlewild, Michigan before eventually settling in Detroit. He graduated from Wayne State University in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in education. He married his college sweetheart, Harriet Pate in 1942 before his World War II service in Germany and France. Upon his return he embarked on a 40-year career in education, earning a master's degree in education and working as truant officer, special education teacher, high-school principal and college dean. After retiring in 1984, he started a new career as a travel agent. Conklin and Harriet traveled across the globe for the next 20 plus years.

Conklin was active in his church, the community and tirelessly advocated for peace and equality for all. He was proud of his ten years serving as director of Green Pastures summer camp, operated by the Detroit Urban League and designed to provide camping experiences for underprivileged kids.

Conklin engaged in many hobbies throughout his life. He was an avid golfer and bridge player and hosted his last bridge club meeting just eight weeks before his passing. Acting, painting, Words With Friends, reading, attending opera, and talking about his children and grandchildren were among his favorite pastimes. He always remembered birthdays, holidays, and regularly dropped cards and notes in the mail. Always up for a new adventure, at the age of 88 he took first place in a go-kart race while on a family vacation in France in 2006.

Conklin is survived by five children, Gerald Bray of North Hollywood, California, Philip Bray and his wife Sharyn of Carson, California, Stephen Bray and his wife Stephanie of Studio City, California, Janet Bray and her husband Mark of Austin, Texas, and Kevin Bray and his wife Sophie of Studio City, California; four grandchildren, Necia Gates and her husband David, Aaron, Milena, and Spencer; Four great grandchildren, Kaiser, Zoryn, Kaz and Harrison; four nieces, Debbie, Judy, Vickee, and Jane; a nephew, Michael; and a host of other relatives and friends. Conklin was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Harriet and his brother, Louis.

Los Angeles Memorial
September 1 at 10:00 am
Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City
12355 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91604

Detroit Memorial
October 13 at 11am
Central United Methodist Church
23 E. Adams, Detroit, MI 48226

All are welcome to attend and celebrate Conklin's life.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to The Conklin Bray Scholarship at Wayne State University by check or online gift:

Gifts by check can be made payable to Wayne State University. In the memo please write "College of Education In Memory of Conklin Bray."

Wayne State University
5700 Cass Ave., Suite 1200
Detroit, MI 48202

To give online please go to : https://giving.wayne.edu/donate/education
and please be sure to click "Make your gift a tribute" and type "In Memory of Conklin Bray."