2017-11-09 / Obituaries

John Mecray

Beloved husband, father, brother and friend, John Mecray, passed away Nov. 1 after a long and courageous battle with leukemia.

John grew up in Cape May, N.J., where he developed a lifelong passion for sailing. He attended the Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts, and had a successful career as an illustrator. He gave service to his country with a tour of duty in Europe.

John moved his family to Newport the same year the tall ships first came to the Island in 1976 and launched his second career as a marine artist. John combined his superb painting talent with an encyclopedic knowledge of seafaring history. Throughout the years, his paintings and rare drawings were hung in homes of America’s premier art collections.

John’s keen interest in yachts and yachting history led to the founding of the Museum of Yachting and its annual classic yacht regatta. In 1993, he helped found the International Yacht Restoration School, IYRS, where he was a trustee. John was a member of the Mystic Seaport Museum’s yachting committee, the New York Yacht Club, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

John is survived by his wife, Mary Gillette, of Jamestown, his daughter, Stacia Mecray, also of Jamestown, grandchildren Lucy Lutyens of Wickford and Samuel Lutyens of New Orleans, and sister Marcy Gosselin of Dothan, Ala.

John was preceded in death by his son, Marc Mecray, brother, Jerry Mecray, and his parents, James R. Mecray and Jane M. Mecray of Cape May, N.J.

A celebration of his life is scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 1 at the IYRS.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the International Yacht Restoration School, 449 Thames St., Newport, RI, 02840, or the Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904, or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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