DELMAR RAY ALFORD
1924 TX – 2006 TX
Delmar Ray Alford
and his wife Mary Helen Lockhart Alford
Clulte, Brazoria Co., TX—Friday, 18 August 2006
Longtime Brazoria County resident, rancher,
developer, Realtor and insurance agent D. Ray Alford passed away on Wednesday
[August 16] night at his home in Sweeny after a courageous battle with cancer.
To any stranger, D. Ray always offered a strong
handshake, introducing himself as a WWII veteran and Aggie Class of ‘45. D. Ray
fiercely loved his God, his family, his country and his work as an elder at the
Church of Christ in Sweeny.
Born in Gonzales County in 1924, D. Ray served
as County Extension Agent, a board member of the Sweeny Community Hospital, the
Lion’s Club, the American Legion and the Sweeny Chamber of Commerce.
He is preceded in death by his parents, J.I. and
Mary Gilmore Alford of Waelder; and infant daughter, Dawn Alford.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years,
Mary Lockhart Alford; his brother, James Posey Alford [AAFA #0021] and wife,
Mary Elliott Alford of Gonzales.
Children surviving are Judy Indest and her
husband, Jim, of Pearland, David Alford and his wife, Jan, of Cedar Lane, Susan
Salyer and her husband, Glenn, of Sweeny, Sally Lynch and her husband, Robert,
of Sweeny and Jim Alford and his wife, Susie, of Sweeny.
Nine grandchildren surviving are Ty Alford, Lang
Alford, Kay Lynn Alford, Chad Salyer, Emily Salyer Zimmerman, Amy Lynch,
Michael Lynch, Everett Alford and Adie Alford. Three great-grandchildren
surviving are Chasidi, Colin and Claire Alford; as well as numerous nieces,
nephews and extended family....
Funeral services will be held on Saturday,
August 19, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. at the Church of Christ in Sweeny at Fifth and
Elm streets.... Burial will be in Sweeny.
Pallbearers will be Ty Alford, Lang Alford, Chad
Salyer, Michael Lynch, Ryan Zimmerman, Jim Indest and Everett Alford.
Arrangements by Baker Funeral Home, 634 S.
Columbia Dr., West Columbia, TX. (979) 345-3232....
from Sweeny Cemetery, Sweeny, Brazoria Co., TX—www.findagrave.com
granted by the photographer, Jerry Reeves
AAFA NOTES: SSDI
records show that Delmar R. Alford (SS# issued in TX) was born 23 Feb 1924, but
that he died 17 Aug 2006, last residence Sweeny, Brazoria Co., TX.
We included the obituary of his son David Ray
Alford in Texas Obituaries.
He was called Delma for most of his life until a
check of his birth certificate revealed his true name. He then became D-Ray to
his friends and family.
The following was written by Gil Alford from
information received from Delmar Ray Alford:
attended public schools in Waelder graduating in 1941. In September he enrolled
at Texas A&M majoring in animal husbandry. The bombing of Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941, and U.S. entry into World War II would sidetrack his college
career. In March of 1943, A&M sophomores and juniors were loaded on to
trains, courtesy of Uncle Sam. The Aggie band played as they pulled out of the
station on their way to induction into the Army at Camp Wolter, Mineral
Springs, Texas. After several days of physical examinations and inoculations,
the young men were returned to College Station to finish the semester at the
Army’s expense. At the end of the school year, they were sent to various Army
bases around the country.
volunteered for service in an armored division and was sent to Fort Knox,
Kentucky. His older brother, J.P. Alford (A&M class of ‘43), had recently
graduated from Officers Training School there and had been commissioned a
second lieutenant. After enduring ninety day of grueling basic training, the
Aggies of classes ‘44 and ‘45 were sent back to A&M under the ASTP/ROTC
program. The ROTC was an officer candidate school. The ASTP (Army Specialist
Training Program) was the brainchild of then Secretary of War, Henry Stimson.
The idea was to take 150,000 of the brightest draftees and train them in areas
where the Army anticipated specialists would be needed. The program ended in
1944 when the need for manpower took precedence. Delmar and thirty or forty of
his buddies felt that they were needed and so answered the call. He became part
of the famed 42nd also known as the Rainbow Division. This division was created
in 1917 during World War I. It grew out of concern in Washington that
individual states might take offense if other states were to be the source of
particular divisional recruiting. Secretary of War, Newton Baker, decided to
create one division from the surplus units of many states thus avoiding any
jealousy and friction. The command was given to then Major Douglas MacArthur
who reportedly said, “Fine, that will stretch over the whole country like a
was shipped overseas in 1944 as part of Task Force Linden to Marseille, France
where he was issued an A-1 jeep and hustled off to the front on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Day found him eating his lunch on the Maginot Line near Strasbourg on
the Rhine River. He then became the driver for the company commander, Lester H.
Lumus (Aggie class 0f ‘39) and also hauled food and ammunition.
the war ended, Delmar was discharged from the Army in 1946 after being awarded
the World War II Victory Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Theater
Ribbon, the EAME Theater Ribbon, and two Bronze Stars. He returned to Texas
A&M, graduated in 1948 with his degree in animal husbandry, and went to
work for the Texas Extension Service as a county agent. This eventually took
him to three counties: Brown, Fisher, and Wilson through 1955. From 1955 to
1975 he worked as a ranch foreman near Sweeney, Texas. After leaving that
position he became self-employed engaging in ranching, real estate development,
and life insurance.
June 24, 1950 Delmar married Mary Helen Lockhart McSpadden. Mary was a war
widow. Her husband, Joe McSpadden, was a B-29 pilot who was shot down May 5,
1945 and was assassinated by the Japanese on the last day of World War II. Joe
and Mary had a daughter, Judy Carolyn McSpadden, born March 22, 1945. Delmar
and Mary’s children are David Ray (December 25, 1951), Mary Susan Salyer (May
22, 1954), Sally Jane Lynch (August 7, 1957), and James William (January 31,
active part of the community, Delmar served as a deacon in the Church of Christ
for five years and has been an elder since 1985. During the Vietnam War, he
served as commander of American Legion Post 463. He is a lifelong member of
V.F.W. Post 8551 and has also served as president of the Sweeny Chamber of
Commerce (1970-71). As his hobbies and interests, Delmar includes “work, work,
work” and fishing and hunting.
His lineage: Delmar Ray 1924 TX1,
James Isaac 1887 TX2, John Posey 1854 TX3, Hatch 1815 NC4,
Isaac 1782 NC5, John 1747 NC6, Julius 1717 VA7,
James 1687 VA8, John 1645 VA9.