Aug 5, 1925 - Nov 8, 2013 DALE LeRoy Bryan, a World War II veteran and longtime Dale farmer, died Nov. 8, 2013. He was 88. LeRoy was born Aug. 5, 1925, to Ralph and Iva Bryan, of Oklahoma City. He grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated from Capitol Hill High School in 1943. Less than six months after graduation, he was drafted into the military and joined the U.S. Army XIV Corps Field Artillery, which fought on the Philippine Islands during World War II. He was involved in the invasion of Lingayen Gulf and the liberation of Manila and southern Luzon. He rose to rank of Technical Sergeant before being honorably discharged in February 1946. Upon leaving the military, LeRoy returned to Oklahoma City, where he ran a milk route for a year and worked for Phillips Petroleum Co. for a year and a half. LeRoy always loved the land, however, and in 1950, he moved to Dale to pursue a career in farming that would last more than 50 years. He operated a tree nursery for several years until I-40 was built across his property. A year after moving to Dale, he married his wife, Betty Cole, the love of his life and his lifelong companion. They wed on Oct. 16, 1951, at the First Presbyterian Church, Shawnee. The couple was blessed with four children, Shirley, Terry, Glenda, and Kenneth. LeRoy started his Dale area farming operation with 40 acres rented from his parents and 80 acres that he purchased. He bought additional land as opportunities arose and gradually expanded his farming operation, building a home and several barns and sheds along the way. LeRoy loved to make deals. He often seemed his happiest when he was traveling the state buying farming equipment at auctions and sales, and reselling the machinery to friends and neighbors outside his former home along State Highway 102 south of Dale. He operated a mobile home park for several years to help support his family. LeRoy was active in civic affairs. He was a member of the Pottawatomie County Soil Conservation Service for 30 years, a Farm Bureau board member 20 years, and served on the Dale School Board. He was preceded in death by Betty, his wife of 61 years. Survivors include four children and their spouses: Shirley and Randy Ellis, of Edmond; Terry and Jackie Bryan, of Broken Arrow; Glenda and Pete Schwiering, of Oklahoma City; and Kenneth and Stacey Bryan, of Edmond; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11 at Walker Funeral Home in Shawnee, with burial in the Dale Cemetery. Family members will be at the funeral home from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday to visit with family and friends. Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army of Shawnee, 200 E 9th St, Shawnee, OK, 74801.
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Published in The Oklahoman on Nov. 10, 2013