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Jessie Leroy “Bud” Dry was born Jan. 7, 1928 in Haskell County, Kan., and he passed away peacefully in his sleep in Springfield, Mo., on April 22, 2012. Leroy was the third of five children born to Fred Dry and Alma Doss.
Leroy spent his early years in Kansas breaking horses before his parents moved the family back to their home place in Squires, Mo., in 1935. As a young teenager, Leroy spent a few years in Bremerton, Wash., working in the Navy shipyards. In Washington, he married Betty Corbit and they had a son, Richard. Leroy eventually moved back home to the Ozarks and in 1946 he married Reba Eula Welton.
Leroy farmed and owned a milk route, hauling milk from dairies to the milk processing plant in Ava. These early years of Leroy and Reba’s life were difficult, filled with hard work as they raised their first three children, Carolyn Sue, Danny Lee, and Randy Otis in a small, two-room house on the farm. In 1960, Leroy and Reba built a new house on the hill above their old house and here they continued raising their family and farming. By this time, Leroy had given up the milk route and was working at Welton and Gray Gravel Quarry south of Ava.
Leroy and Reba were blessed, and likely surprised, by the birth of two more sons in the early 1960s, Fredrick Edwin “Eddie” and Terry Steven. Leroy had few hobbies. Instead, he found much joy in work on the farm to provide for his family. Building fence, picking rocks, growing hay and Angus beef cattle, cutting brush, hauling gravel, lime, and fertilizer, and pulling weeds from pastures were among his hobbies all the while continuing his daily work at the quarry.
His work ethic was tireless and he was a strong role model for his family and his friends. He attended Ava Assembly of God Church for the past several years and truly enjoyed the worship service full of old time gospel music and Pastor Buddy’s weekly message. Right up to his passing, Leroy still worked on the farm and he received much happiness from his family, especially his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Leroy was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Reba; his parents, Fred and Alma; a grandson, Cody Dry; a brother, Lawson; and a sister, Opal Downs.
He is survived by his children, Richard and his wife, Laura, of Bremerton, Wash., Sue Erter and husband John, of Squires, Danny and his wife Jamie, of Squires, Randy and his wife Debbie, of Ava, Terry and his wife, Delayna, of Ava, and Eddie, of Cotter, Ark.; one brother, Floyd Vernon Dry, Springfield; one sister, Winnifred Robertson, Blue Springs; 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and a host of friends.
Services for Leroy were Wednesday, April 25, at 2 p.m. in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, with burial in the Fannon Cemetery. Officiating were Pastor Buddy Boyd and the Rev. Ronnie Pinckney. Visitation was Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m. in the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Fannon Cemetery.
Online condolences may be made at www.clinkingbeardfuneral home.com.