Obituary Details

Leo Woodroll Bray

(01/28/1936 - 11/22/1996)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 10/31/1996

Leo Woodroll Bray

Leo Woodroll Bray, 60, a cattle rancher, died Friday, Nov. 22, 1996, at his home in Oral, S.D.

Funeral services were Tuesday, Nov. 26, 1996, at Case Auditorium in Hot Springs with the Rev. Peter Dahlberg officiating. Masonic graveside services were at Fairview Cemetery in Oral. Memorials are to an educational scholarship in his memory and may be sent to Norwest Bank of South Dakota, N.A., c/o John Aman, P.O. Box 811, Hot Springs, S.D. 57747.

He was born Jan 28, 1936, 12 miles north of Lance Creek to Henry W. and Helen May (Drazey) Bray. He was born in a log cabin during a blizzard with Dr. Walter Reckling and Nurse Miss Kitty in attendance. He spent his early childhood on a ranch and attended a county school through the sixth grade.

He continued his education through the eighth grade at Lance Creek. He spent his first three years of high school in Manville. In 1954, the family relocated to a ranch north of Edgemont, S. D., where he graduated from Edgemont High School. During this time, he excelled in sports, especially football. He turned down a football scholarship to the University of Wyoming, before accepting a football scholarship to Chadron State College in 1954. He became the first freshman to ever start with the Chadron football team. However, after one year of college, he returned to the family ranch to help during a family illness, but always continued his education through home study courses. During this time, he was also employed as a gravel truck driver. He met Audrey Jean Christensen of Edgemont and on June 25, 1956, they were married in Deadwood, S. D. They lived a short time in Chamberlain, S. D., where he was a truck driver. Upon returning to the Edgemont area, he was employed at Silver King Mines as a lab technician. They resided at a ranch at Minnekahta Valley. On Aug. 1, 1963, the family moved to Hot Springs and purchased Harvey's Texaco which later became Bray's Texaco. On Jan. 1, 1979, he was elected as Fall River/Shannon County Sheriff. After being elected to office, he served for 16 years before retiring in January of 1995. During his term, he was president of the South Dakota Sheriff's Association (Oct. 1984-85). At this time, they resided at their cattle ranch near Oral, where they built a beautiful home and loved their county life together. He received various community awards too numerous to mention. Also, he always believed in expanding his education. Besides taking home college courses, he attended special law enforcement classes, as well as, being a license pilot.

Survivors include his wife; daughter Jackie Ann McElhaney and her husband, Leonard of Edgemont; son Johnny Leo Bray and his wife, Tina of Novi, Mich.; his parents of Lusk; brother Richard Bray and his wife, Arlys of Edgemont; grandchildren Kristy Jean McElhaney, Kristina Marie Bray, Nicole Eva Bray and Makaela Jean Bray; and other relatives and friends.

McColley's Chapel of the Southern Hills of Hot Springs was in charge of arrangements.

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