The real estate industry is mourning the loss of an icon this week following the passing of James L. Bray, an owner of Cutler Real Estate in Canton, Ohio. Bray passed away Friday, June 19. He was 75. Born in New Brighton, Pa., a son of the late James and Nelda (Cobner) Bray, he grew up in Beaver, Pa., and had lived in Canton since 1960. He graduated from Michigan State University, was owner and partner in Cutler Real Estate and Delta Media Group and was a member of John Knox Presbyterian Church. During Jim’s tenure, Cutler became innovative as one of the first firms to use online marketing services. In 1985 he was President of the Stark County Association of REALTORS®. Jim was a guiding force in the technological evolution of the Multiple Listing Service as well as a leader in the advancement of fair housing practices.
Bray has been REALTOR Salesperson and REALTOR® Broker of the Year for the Stark County Association of REALTORS®. In 2011 Jim was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was recognized by the National Association of REALTORS® with a REALTOR® Emeritus Award for more than 40 years of service to the Realtor® Organization. He was board member of Canton Regional and Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce and received the Jackson-Belden Chamber Volunteer of the year award in 1993. Jim was a founding member of the Jackson Port Authority, Jackson Twp. Community Improvement Committee and the Jackson Twp. TAP Committee.
Additionally, Bray was a longtime member of the Jackson High School Sideliners and served as one of the early Presidents. Most recently, Jim served on the Advisory Board of the Buckeye Council and was on the Pack Committee for Pack 923. He was preceded in death by his sister, Bonnie Bray. He is survived by his wife, Penny Bray; one daughter and son-in-law, Amy and Justin Truex, of Canton; and his special grandchildren, Brandon, who he loved to watch play baseball, and Carrie, who he enjoyed watching in ballet recitals.
A memorial service will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in RiverTree Christian Church with Pastor Jess Adkins officiating. Friends may call Thursday from 4-7 p.m. in the church. The Formet-Clevenger & Gordon Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to: Buckeye Council, BSA, 2301 13th St. N.W., Canton, OH 44708; or ArtsInStark, 900 Cleveland Ave. N.W., Canton OH 44702.
Condolences may be left at: www.gordonfuneralhomes.com.