Obituary: Donald Pray |

Obituary: Donald Pray

Donald Pray, 70 years of age, died Monday, November 9, 2009, at the University of Utah Medical Center following a medical emergency. He was en route home to Smoky Valley, Nev., after a visit with his mother and sister in El Dorado Springs, Mo.

Don was born in Nevada, Mo., the youngest of three children born to Henrietta and A.E. “Gene” Pray. He was reared in El Dorado Springs, where he enjoyed a childhood filled with family, friends, and many happy memories.

Following his graduation from high school in 1957, Don attended college in Columbia for a time, but when he was 20 years old he went to work as a surveyor for the Bureau of Land Management’s Cadastral Survey Organization. One of over 190 surveyors from the small town of El Dorado Springs who have worked for the Cadastral Survey, his name is inscribed on a granite memorial there.

His tenure with the BLM took him to central Nevada, and it was there, in Smoky Valley, that he met his future wife in the fall of 1961. He and Carla Manley planned an early summer wedding, but Don was called to duty with the Army. After marrying on April 21, 1962, Don was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., for his military service, where he received his Sharpshooter Badge and Good Conduct Medal. Upon his honorable discharge on March 25, 1964, Don returned to work for the BLM in Nevada.

In January of 1966 Don went to work for the Nevada Highway Department in Carson City. During the years he lived and worked in Carson City he made many good friends. He was active in the 20-30 Club, serving as secretary-treasurer and president, and was involved with Little League baseball and enjoyed coaching.

In 1983 he transferred to Elko, Nev., where he continued to work for the Nevada Department of Transportation until his retirement in the summer of 1996, at which time he and Carla moved to Smoky Valley to enjoy wide open spaces and the company of friends and family.

Don was a member of the American Legion.

Don is survived by his wife of 47 years, Carla, of Smoky Valley; son Vance (Marcia) of Battle Mountain, Nev.; daughter Sheree Carson (John) of Spring Creek, Nev.; grandchildren, Shelby Pray and Cade Carson; mother Henrietta Pray and sister Shirley Lynn, both of El Dorado Springs; brother Larry Pray (Ellen) of Nashville, N.C.; a number of nieces, nephews, in-laws and cousins; and devoted friends, all of whom will miss him so much.

He was preceded in death by his father and a niece.

Don’s greatest loves were his family and friends, his home, and golf.

A gathering of friends and family is planned for 1 p.m. Saturday, November 28, 2009, at Don and Carla’s home in Smoky Valley. Please drop by to share your favorite memories.

Fond reminiscences and kind thoughts may be sent to the family at HC60, Box 75150, Round Mountain, NV, 89045.