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Byron LeRay

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BENNINGTON -- Byron C. LeRay, 84, a longtime resident of East Main Street, died Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007, at the Vermont Veterans Home following a long illness.

Born in Bennington May 2, 1923, he was the son of the late Herman D. and Mary Ellen (Tinney) LeRay. He received his education in the Bennington schools. Byron was a World War II Navy veteran, serving from Feb. 7, 1941, until April 5, 1947. During that time Byron saw extended service throughout the Pacific Theatre aboard several ships, including the USS Washington, which received a Presidential Unit Citation and 13 combat stars. Byron was aboard the USS YMS 383, which was sunk at sea in May 1946. The surviv0ing seamen spent five days adrift on a life raft until being rescued near Okinawa. He was a recipient of a Silver Star, the Purple Heart and several other medals for service to his country.

In earlier years Byron was employed by Burgess Brothers Construction. He later was a driver for Holmes Transportation for several years prior to his retirement.

Byron was a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington, serving from 1990 through 2003.

A very active member of American Legion Post 13 in Bennington for many years, Byron was past commander and former service officer for Post 13 and past sergeant of arms for the Department of Vermont, American Legion. He was also a member of VFW Post 1332 in Bennington.

Byron was a local race car fan and had helped sponsor several local drivers over the years.

Survivors include his wife, Lucy Pello LeRay of Bennington; several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins. Byron was predeceased by a sister, Josephine “Chick” King, and two brothers, Herman and Robert LeRay.

The funeral will be held from the Mahar & Son Funeral Home on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007, at 10:30 a.m. with a prayer and from All Faiths Chapel at the Vermont Veterans Home at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Michael A. Demasi, chaplain, officiating.

Friends may call at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. when the family will be in attendance.

Burial will take place in the family lot in Park Lawn Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in Byron LeRay’s memory may be made to the Activities Fund at the Vermont Veterans Home through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.

All members of the following organizations are asked to meet at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Monday evening to conduct services in memory of Byron LeRay: American Legion Post 13 at 6 p.m. and VFW Post 1332 at 6:30 p.m.
Published in Bennington Banner from Sept. 21 to Sept. 26, 2007
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