Thomas J. Dry, 87, of Edmond, OK, entered into eternal rest on Thursday, April 17th, 2014. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Tom was born to Emily and Ed Dry on Nov. 24th, 1926. He grew up in Talihina, OK and was one of six children. Tom was born in to the Choctaw tribe and was very proud of his American Indian heritage. He believed in the importance of education and earned several degrees. His first was a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central State College (currently UCO). This is where he met his beloved wife of 62 years, Marilyn. After teaching for a short time, Tom decided that his calling was the ministry. He went back to school and received a Bachelor of Divinity in 1957, and later a Master of Divinity in 1971, both from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Tom worked as a pastor for 23 years and served churches in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. His longest tenure was at Zion United Church of Christ in Kansas City, Kansas from 1968 to 1979. By the end of his stay in Kansas City, he felt that his calling had become to serve the American Indian community. He decided to go back to school again to earn his Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas. When he graduated in 1980, he moved to Oklahoma and took a job with the Absentee Shawnee and Sac and Fox tribes as Director of Family Services. He worked with the tribes from 1980 – 1989. While there, he served on the boards of other Indian state agencies and began working with numerous child welfare divisions to promote legislation for the American Indian cause. He and other tribal members, state agencies, and legislators worked very closely to create the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act that was passed in 1982. Tom has been recognized as one of the founding members of the Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association.
Tom will always be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. Tom was preceded in death by his son Paul in 2013. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, his daughter Karen, his son-in-law Anurag Narula, his 5 grandchildren Gina, Ryan, Jayant, Anjali, and Nikash, his sister Gladys Boren, and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held Friday, June 20th, at 11AM at Church of the Savior in Oklahoma City. Memorial donations in Tom’s honor are suggested to Companion Hospice at 1314 E. Oklahoma Ave, Guthrie, OK 73044. Please note that the memo line on a check for a donation should include “Tom Dry Memorial Contribution”.
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