KANSAS CITY, MO.-
The Board of Trustees and staff members of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
are deeply saddened by the loss this past weekend of Harry C. McCray, Jr., Chair of the Board since May 1. McCray died Saturday, Nov. 28, after an intense struggle with cancer.
Harry will be missed very much, said Marc F. Wilson, the Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell Director/CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. As I think about our future, I am profoundly grateful for all he did to bring us to where we are today.
McCray was chairman of the board of McCray Lumber Co., Kansas City, and was a philanthropic leader of the community. He was devoted to supporting the Nelson-Atkins for many years, including his roles as chair of the Museums Society of Fellows, the Steering Committee for the Business Council, and the Trustee Development Committee, serving as co-chair of the Major Gifts Subcommittee. He was also chair of the Building and Grounds Committee, from 2007 to 2009.
McCray served as a member of the Board of Trustees beginning in 1992, then succeeded Henry Bloch as a university trustee of the William Rockhill Trust in 2007. In May, he succeeded Estelle G. Sosland as chair of the Nelson-Atkins Board.
Harry was a good man in every respect, Wilson said. His judgment could be counted on for balance, free of special agendas and always in support of what was upright. He combined well-considered reflection with action and he always managed to summon courage to speak out when something got off on a misguided track.
Harry cared about people, as particular individuals and as members of communities, Wilson said. Throughout his adult life, he devoted his energy and his wealth to improving this community through generous support of and service to many institutions.
McCray was also a trustee at the Midwest Research Institute, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a member of the central governing board at Childrens Mercy Hospital and board member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission. He graduated from Princeton University in 1955 and served two years with the U.S. Navy. He is survived by his wife, Tinka, five children and 14 grandchildren.