An Obituary: James Blaine Pray

April 12, 2024

James Blaine Pray of Chelmsford, formerly of Bedford, passed away peacefully on April 9, 2024, at the age of 89.

Mr. Pray was born in Dubois, PA, on Sept. 27, 1934, and he was the son of late John W. and Mary (Weaver) Pray.

He was raised in Mahaffey, PA and graduated from Mahaffey High School. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954 – 1957. Upon leaving the military, Mr. Pray worked for the family restaurant in Mahaffey, PA for five years.

Mr. Pray and his family moved to Bedford six years later to be near his wife’s family. He earned his plumbing degree from the Franklin Institute and was employed as a licensed plumber until his retirement in 1996.

James Blaine Pray

He was predeceased by his beloved wife Betty Lou (Brenton) Pray who passed away in 2001. 

Mr. Pray is survived by his three children, John W. Pray and his wife Susan of Chelmsford, Debra Smoske and her fiancé Ted of Burlington, and Peter B. Pray and his wife Eileen of Groton. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. In addition to his immediate family, Mr. Pray leaves a loving sister, Marilyn Smith of Yorktown, VA, and her family.

Our Dad, Grandpa, GG, Brother, Uncle, and friend will be missed by all!

Visitation will be held at the Bedford Funeral Home, 167 Great Rd., Bedford, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17. Military honors will be held at the close of the visitation.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Jimmy Fund, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via

Click here to read a Bedford Citizen story about Jim Pray, reflecting on his many years in Bedford, posted on Dec. 22, 2020.

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