BLUE EARTH - Daird Alvin Dray, age 92, of Blue Earth, formerly of Elmore, died Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Shiloh Lutheran Church in Elmore with Rev. Robert Roettger, officiating. Burial will follow in Riverview Cemetery, Elmore. Visitation time will be from 9 a.m. until time or services at the church on Saturday. Patton Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting the family with the arrangements. Web condolences may be left at www.pattonfh.com
Daird Alvin Dray was born Aug. 5, 1921, in Reinbeck, Iowa, to Charles Francis "Frank" and Wava (Fletcher) Dray. He was baptized in the Methodist Church. He was raised and educated in Blue Earth. Daird loved the movies as a young boy, so he delivered papers and seined minnows to purchase his movie tickets. He also spent many happy hours with his friends rafting, swimming, and fishing on the Blue Earth River. Following his education, he worked with his father as a painter and decorator. After Pearl Harbor, Daird tried to enlist in the service, but was rejected due to a life-long eye problem. He was subsequently drafted and inducted into the Army on Sept. 22, 1942. He entered active service at Fort Snelling, Minn. on Oct. 5, 1942. He had basic and artillery training at Camp Roberts, Calif. and Fort Lewis, Wash., from 1942 to 1944. In 1944, he sailed to Europe on the Queen Mary. Daird recalled praying for his safe return. In June of 1944, he arrived in Normandy, France, and was stationed in Paris. He accompanied Patton's 3rd Army to Bastogne and Metz, where he was injured. He was hospitalized in Paris. After the German surrender, he began post-war occupation service as a military policeman. He served as a guard at the Nuremberg trials and departed Europe from LeHavre, France. He arrived back in the United States on March 27, 1946, and was honorably discharged at Camp McCoy, Wis. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, European Theater Campaign Bronze Star, Victory Medal, and Fourrage Shoulder Cord of France. After returning home, Daird met his true love and partner for life, Lorene Hove. They were joined in holy matrimony on March 25, 1948, at Shiloh Lutheran Church in Elmore, Minn. Their union was blessed with three children, Mark Alan, Timothy Joel and Elizabeth Ann. Daird soon established himself in his life's work, decorating. He was well known for his excellent work, whether the job was painting, wall paper hanging or tiling. He mixed his paint colors by hand and decorated many of the beautiful old homes in the Blue Earth and surrounding areas. He also did commercial projects, including finish work in the new Super Value Stores that were being built at the time. Daird was a constant and quiet source of support for his family and wife, Lorene. Each Sunday, he sat in the corner of the balcony as his wife was nearby at the organ. In later years, good books and reading became a very important part of his life. The Bible was a favorite book, and he and Lorene both enjoyed going to Friday morning Bible Study Classes together. Life became more difficult in recent months and he entered the Minneapolis Veterans Home in March of this past year. He died peacefully, surrounded by his loving wife Lorene, children, caring staff and fellow comrades. His faith was firm in his Lord and Savior. Daird is survived by his wife, Lorene; sons, Mark (Wendy) Dray of Ham Lake, Timothy (Janet) Dray of Minneapolis; daughter, Elizabeth (David) Ehrich of Elmore; his brother, James (Cynthia) Dray of Myersville, Md.; sister, Ila Beierman of Chisago City; sister-in-law, Mae Hove of Blue Earth; grandchildren, Jason and Mitchell Dray, Amy (Jeremy) Dray-Frandrup and Joseph (Ashley), and Andrew Ehrich; and nine wonderful great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Jane Perry.