Ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the renovated entrance at the front of the school, during the Opening Doors campaign. From left to right: former Head of School Kathy Rader, Judge Richard S. Bray, SBS Founder Dr. Carole Adams, and Board Chair Eric Plumlee.

StoneBridge Honors the Legacy of Judge Richard S. Bray

StoneBridge School mourns the loss of the Honorable Richard S. Bray, retired president and CEO of the Beazley Foundation, Inc., whose support of StoneBridge has been invaluable for many years and whose model of Christian stewardship and generosity has left an indelible mark on this community.

As a long-time supporter of StoneBridge, Judge Bray lent his community influence and generosity to help fund the purchase of the current campus and begin capital improvements. Former Head of School Kathy Rader expressed her deep gratitude for his unwavering support of the school’s mission and his faithful friendship for years.

“Judge Richard Bray was an instrumental figure in the development of StoneBridge School for nearly two decades. As President of the Beazley Foundation, Judge Bray believed in the importance of education and the value of family. He often shared stories about his childhood, friends from his youth, and the blessings of his grandchildren. Judge Bray extended those values to his work at Beazley, where he championed programs that taught goodness, beauty, truth, and virtue,” she said. “On his visits to our campus, he often commented on the happy faces of the students who reminded him of his own early schooling in Portsmouth. His blend of compassion and business acumen with a pinch of fatherly love was a truly special part of his relationship to our school.”

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Ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the renovated entrance at the front of the school, during the Opening Doors campaign. From left to right: former Head of School Kathy Rader, Judge Richard S. Bray, SBS Founder Dr. Carole Adams, and Board Chair Eric Plumlee.

“In 2015, Judge Bray gave his enthusiastic endorsement to fund the $100,000 down payment on the purchase of our permanent campus. Judge Bray supported additional grants for capital improvements, totaling $500,000. He even encouraged other business leaders to give their financial support,” she explained. “Judge Bray believed that securing our permanent home would provide long-term financial stability. Judge Bray was an instrument of God’s Hand of Providence and a faithful friend who believed in the spirit of giving and the value of the StoneBridge mission. We are forever grateful and blessed.”

SBS Board Chairman C. Eric Plumlee also expressed his gratitude for the lasting influence of Judge Bray’s partnership with the school and expressed his deep condolences to the family.

“As a community we grieve with the Bray family at the news of the Honorable Richard Bray’s passing, but we also rejoice that he is now made whole and worships with the Lord Almighty,” Plumlee said. “We also pause to say thank you and to honor a great man with a heart for people and for Christian education. Judge Bray’s friendship to StoneBridge through the Beazley Foundation has made a generational impact on the continuity of the school’s mission and the improvement of our facilities. We will forever be thankful to Judge Bray for his friendship and his kindness.  May the Lord continue to bless the fruits of our partnership.”  

Noel Thomason, current SBS Head of School, expressed his gratitude for Judge Bray’s impact on the school and commended his Christian leadership as an example worth emulating.

“Judge Bray leaves behind a legacy far richer than any earthly support he lended, which was great. He truly modeled the servant leadership and Christian character we strive to instill in our students. We are beyond grateful for the eternal impact he has had on our community, which will be felt for generations to come,” Thomason said. 

According to The Virginian-Pilot, Judge Bray passed away peacefully in his home in Chesapeake, Virginia, with his family by his side on May 4, after a battle with cancer. 

“Judge Bray, a man after God’s own heart, truly loved his wife and family and had an extraordinary bond with his two grandchildren. He was a devoted and dear friend to many, distinguished jurist, community leader, and philanthropist. He was a true advocate who passionately fought for the rights of others,” The Pilot noted in his obit.

Judge Bray, a native of Portsmouth, served at the helm of The Beazley Foundation as President and CEO for 19 years, after retiring as Judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia in 2002. In 2021, he stepped aside as president but continued to serve on the board, according to the foundation’s website. In 2009, he was selected Chesapeake’s First Citizen.