Melvin Paul Bray, 87, of Pittsburg, passed away at 12:50 p.m. Thursday, November 18, 2010 at Via Christi Hospital with his loving wife and family at his side.

Melvin was born June 4, 1923 at Sandborn, Ind. to Wesley and Carrie (Allen) Bray.

He graduated from Sanborn High School in 1942 and from Utilities Engineering Institute in 1955 at Chicago, Ill.

Melvin enlisted in the United States Navy on December 18, 1942. He served in the Secret Service listening for Japanese radio messages, which were sent to Washington D.C. for decoding during World War II and served until March 1946.

Melvin married Leola Layne Coysh on September 6, 1948 at the First United Methodist Church at Altamont, Kan. They celebrated their 62nd anniversary in September.

After serving with the Navy, he worked for Miller Construction Company of Vincennes, Indiana building Rural Electric Lines. In 1953, the family returned to Kansas and for the next several years he was employed with Frito Construction Company in Chanute and Pittsburg. In 1971, he went to work for P&M Coal Company at the Asbury, Missouri mine. He retired from there in 1989 and took up playing horseshoes as a hobby. He played in 13 world tournaments winning two first place trophies and was the State winner in the Championship Class twice.

He is a member of UMWA Local #14, Low Vision Support Group, American Legion Post #64 of Pittsburg, the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association, and the Kansas Horseshoe Association. Melvin was inducted into the Kansas Horseshoe Players Hall of Fame at Topeka, KS on September 6, 2009.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, and two sisters.

In addition to his wife, Leola Layne, he is survived by three children, Vivian Jones of Pittsburg, Chuck Bray of Asbury, Mo. and Sherrie Fearmonti and husband, Frank of Pittsburg; four grandchildren, Kris Jones and fiancÚ, Christin Lowder, Tyler Bray and wife, Emily, Ashlee Bray and fiancÚ, Kevin Carr and Will Koehler; two great-grandchildren, Tristan Bray and Madysen Jones, all of Pittsburg; one sister, Della Troup of Riverdale, Md.

The family will receive friends from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Monday, November 22 at the Brenner Mortuary.

A graveside service will be held 2:30 p.m. Monday, November 22 at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Altamont, Kan. with Rev. Douglas Howe officiating.

Friends are requested to meet at the cemetery. The Benjamin Fuller American Legion Post No. 64 will provide flag folding rites at the cemetery. Friends may call after 10 a.m. Sunday at the funeral home to sign the register. The family suggests memorials to the Wesley House. These may be left at or mailed to the Brenner Mortuary, 114 E. 4th St., Pittsburg. Online condolences may be left at Arrangements are under the direction of the Brenner Mortuary, Pittsburg.