Charles Everett Dray, Jr. passed away on Sunday, February 19

Charles Everett Dray, Jr. passed away on Sunday, February 19, 2017 at Royalton Manor, St. Joseph.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at Peace Lutheran Church, 3590 Lincoln Ave. St. Joseph with Rev. Ronald Schmidt officiating. Military Rites provided by North Berrien Military Rites Team. Memorials may be made to Peace Lutheran Church, St. Joseph. Those wishing to sign Everett’s guestbook may do so online at

Everett is survived by his two children: Barb Durflinger and Dan Dray (Jane de Groot); four grandchildren: Matt (Megan) and Michelle Durflinger, Nathaniel and Jonathan Dray; and four great grandchildren: Owen, Addison, and Grayson Durflinger, and Gabriela Moreno. He was preceded in death by his wife of seventy-four years, Dorothy; his parents; brother, George, and sister, Jessie.

Everett was born to Halley and Charles Dray on June 27, 1919, in Centerville, Iowa. His family eventually settled in Rockford, Illinois. He attended both parochial school and public school and at the age of fifteen became the youngest student to ever graduate from Rockford Central High School.

He married Dorothy Ingeborg Olson, a Rockford native, on August 2, 1940.

Everett began his engineering career as a machine tool draftsman for Greenlee Brothers & Company, Inc. in Rockford. When the United States entered WWII, he enlisted in the Army Air Force, serving his country from 1943 to the end of 1945, trained as a P-51 fighter pilot.

After the war, he and Dorothy settled in Rockford to raise their daughter, Barb, and son, Dan. He continued to advance his career in the machine tool industry until his retirement from Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. in 1981.

Everett was a dedicated husband and father who devoted himself to the happiness of his wife and children. He was a confirmed member of Tabor Lutheran Church in Rockford and very active in church activities throughout his life. He loved fishing and camping, but golf was his passion. He played the game well into his late 80s, always early in the morning, rarely using a cart.

The family would like to thank the staff at Royalton Manor and Caring Circle Hospice for their kindness and caring. 

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