William E. Pray

Municipal Judge for the cities of Leavenworth, Lansing, Basehor and Tonganoxie, William E. Pray, died on November 16, 2021. He was the son of David F. Pray and Georgina M. Pray (née McCay).
Born in Clermont, Florida (November 17, 1951) and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, Bill graduated with a B.A. (1973) and then a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree (1976) from the University of Kansas. He was admitted to the Bar of the State of Kansas in 1976.
His long legal career included admittance to the US District Court (Kansas), U.S. Court of Appeals (10th Circuit) and several tribal Courts. He also served twice as the Chief Deputy County Attorney for the Leavenworth and Atchison Counties Child Support Division. His private practice focused on debtor’s rights and bankruptcy.
Other professional positions included past Board Memberships for the Leavenworth County Bar Association and the Leavenworth County District Court Law Library.
He battled health issues for a long time, but no one was more determined to LIVE. It speaks volumes that his medical team adored him and, he, them.
Bill loved to cook and his kitchen overflowed with the latest gadgets producing memorable meals. Thanksgiving was always at Bill’s and he made it a joyous family event.
Travel, especially sailing was Bill’s way to relax. He sailed on lakes in Kansas and eventually fulfilled a long­time wish to pilot a boat in the Caribbean. His adventures included several years crewing for a hot air balloon team from England; friendships developed then lasted all his life.
We will miss his keen wit, his generous spirit, his courage, his sense of humor, his dedication to young people and his spectacular ties peeking out from his Judge’s robes.
A gathering in his honor will be held December 13, 2021 at Metropolitan Steakhouse, 1501 Metropolitan Avenue, Leavenworth, at 4:00pm.
Bill, we wish you fair winds and following seas.