Francis J. "Pic" Picray, Jr.

January 02, 2015

Service Details

Devoted husband, father, and Des Moines native Francis J. Picray Jr. found everlasting peace on January 2, 2015 after a prolonged illness.

Casually known as as “Chik” while serving with the U.S. Navy during WWII, and later as “Pic” to many of his friends, he was most affectionately known simply as “Dad.” As a younger man, he was active in the community as a Civil Air Patrol pilot; a Little League Baseball coach; and a boy scout troop leader. He also enjoyed his work as a freelance news photographer; a VFW Post 738 Commander; a Master Mason; a volunteer DNR Hunter Education Instructor; and a U.S. Navy Reserve Petty Officer First Class assigned to Fort Des Moines Seabee Battalion 25—from which he retired.

Francis was the quintessential Jack-of-all-trades as a Master Plumber, a mechanical contractor, the builder of his family home, and founder of Ready Service Company which he operated with his lifetime partner, confidant, and mother of his children.

But beyond what he did, he will be fondly remembered and greatly respected as a man who never accepted that one "can't fight city hall." He thus embodied the notion that fighting the good fight is its own reward regardless of the result.

Dad is survived by his wife of sixty-eight years, Mary; sons, Francis "Bud" Picray III (Lois), David Picray, and Michael Picray (Melodee); daughter, Kathy Simpson; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Monday, January 12, 2015 at Hamilton’s Funeral Home, 605 Lyon Street, Des Moines. Funeral services will begin at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, January 13, also at Hamilton’s. Burial with military honors will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Pleasant Hill.

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