H. Linton Wray ’62

Physician and retired US Army Colonel Linton Wray of Chevy Chase, Maryland, died peacefully December 7, 2023 at Montgomery Hospice Casey House. He was 83. Linton was born in 1940 to Lois and George Wray of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he grew up with his brother, the late George Wray, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia and many lifelong friends.

He is survived by Kathleen, his wife of 58 years; his three sons Harris, Walter, and David; his granddaughter, Christina Wray, and her mother, Dominique Khieu. He loved them without reserve. He is survived as well by his brother-in-law, Townsend Harris of Charlotte; sisters-in-law Judith Cutting of Richmond and Anne Wray of Atlanta; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Linton graduated from Myers Park High School in Charlotte as an honor student and athlete; cum laude from Davidson College where his friends nicknamed him “Smiley”; and from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, class of ’66. He completed internal medicine training at the University of North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill and a metabolism fellowship at Barnes Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Wray was a medical researcher, clinician, and physician executive. In 1972 he entered required military service and was assigned to Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington where he established a key assay for cell messaging and investigated the mechanisms of the stress hormone epinephrine on heart function. In 1976 he joined the Endocrine-Metabolic Service as Assistant Chief, Department of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center to conduct research, teach, and deliver care. He became Chief of the Department of Clinical Investigation for 10 years. His Legion of Merit cited him for developing the Department of Defense’s first medical fellowship in clinical research, establishing the first published HIV research guidelines for protection of military subjects, and increasing the number of active research studies by 30 percent. His publications deal mainly with hormone action and bone and mineral metabolism.

Certified as a Medical Manager, he last served in the military as Senior Consultant, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). He was a Professor of Medicine of the F. Hebert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University. He retired from the Army in 1996.

Post military, Dr. Wray worked as a Medical Director at Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation, the Veterans Affairs Capitol Network, and for 20 years at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield as Medical Director, Washington Metropolitan area. He retired in 2019.

Linton was guided by fairness, compassion, and an undaunted can-do spirit. As a student he once drove his Ford Falcon from Philadelphia to New York City and for three days parked all over town with no first gear or reverse. Highs in his life include running the 1980 Marine Corps Marathon, travelling in Micronesia, being a grandfather, and escaping the Boy Scout train in Nevada to play the slots.

He was a lifelong sportsman and fan. He played football and basketball in high school, wrestled and pole vaulted in college. He especially loved basketball and faithfully rooted for the UNC Tar Heels, Davidson Wildcats, and Golden State Warriors whose Davidson grad Steph Curry was one of his lights. His passion for soccer grew from being a coaching dad in the 1970’s.

Thrifty but always generous, Linton was a loyal member of Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church where he served as elder and fundraiser. Also true to his alma maters, he and his wife endowed scholarship funds for medical and college students. He was a member of the Board of Trustees at Davidson for two years and served as President of Alumni. Among his medical memberships was the Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC.

Linton knew the natural beauty of Pawleys Island, South Carolina where he fished as a boy and later spent laid-back vacations reading and crabbing with family and friends. Gentle to the end, Linton appreciated the care he was given.

Innumerable friends and colleagues will dearly miss him. A family service will be held at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church. Further plans are not final. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Montgomery Hospice or to Miriam’s Kitchen where Linton helped serve many breakfasts.

Published by The Washington Post on Jan. 6, 2024.