Wray Gunn was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in other southern cities before his family moved north. They lived in Lee, Massachusetts and Stockbridge, where his ancestor, Agrippa Hull, had lived before and after fighting in the American Revolution. He studied chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and was the first Black captain of a team (baseball) at the university.
Upon graduating, he worked at Nelco Metals, and became the chief chemist and then director of quality control. (The company was eventually bought by Pfizer). He is an active member of the Lions Club and Sheffield Historical Society. Both he and his wife Cora are leaders in the Clinton Church Restoration, in Great Barrington. He attended the Clinton African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church as a child and through adulthood.
About his commitment to the Clinton Church Restoration, Wray says, “Cora, my wife, and I made a commitment to Esther Dozier, first woman minister. She had been involved in making the church a community place; in other words, she opened up the church to anyone that wanted to come in. Her untimely death made us sit back and look at that and say, “Are we going to do that! Yes, we are.”
Click here to listen to Wray’s full interview in the Special Collections and University Archives at UMass Amherst Libraries
A full transcript of the interview will be available soon