Robert Christie (Chris) Wray, Jr., M.D.
1938 - 2013
Chris passed away on November 18, 2013, after a long illness.
A native of Arkansas, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas and graduated from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO in 1963. His general surgery residency was at the University of Virginia Hospital, Charlottesville, VA from 1963 to 1970, which included two years of service in the United States Air Force. This was followed by a Plastic Surgery residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore MD, which was completed in 1972.
Chris served on the faculty of Washington University, School of Medicine in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 1972-1983, achieving the rank of full Professor, under the tutelage of Dr. Paul Weeks. In 1984, he became Professor and Chair, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Rochester, NY, holding that position until 1998.
Dr. Lee Caldwell, a colleague for fourteen years, remarks on his passion for teaching residents and medical students whether in conferences or in the OR. In remembering Chris, she says, "he was a genuine, understated, principled individual who consistently put others before himself". One of his former residents, Dr. Brad Rockwell relates, "As residents, we could not have had a better teacher. As an academic plastic surgeon, I could not have had a better mentor. Dr. Wray shaped me, and others, as a surgeon. His lessons were always simple, straight forward, and easy to remember".
In 1998, Chris joined the faculty at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA as Professor and Chief, Hand and Upper Extremity Service, a position he held until 2008. During his tenure, an award bearing his name was established for an outstanding resident. It states, "A man's influence dies with him, a teacher's influence goes on forever".
Over the course of his career, Chris had numerous publications, book chapters and review articles. He was Associate Editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Journal of Hand Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, and the Year Book of Hand Surgery.
He served as President of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery and the Western Trauma Association. He also served as Director and Vice Chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and was a member of the Residency Review Committee for Plastic Surgery.
Chris was a well conditioned athlete who enjoyed skiing, flying, golf and his 1962 Morgan!!
He is survived by his wife, Margaret Rothwell (Rockye) Wray, his children, Robert Christie Wray III, Anne Maury Bridges, Dr. Carter Wray and six grandchildren.
He was well loved and will be missed by all who had the privilege and pleasure of knowing him.
Kenna S. Given, M.D.