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Aubrey J. Dry Sr. | Obituary

Aubrey J. Dry Sr., of Jasper, Texas went to join his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on April 24, 2022. A gathering of family and friends to celebrate his life will be held at Shultz Funeral Home in Jasper on Friday , April 29, 2022. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. with services to follow at 11 a.m. Interment will follow at Holly Grove Cemetery in Holly Grove, Texas, near Livingston at 2 p.m.

He was predeceased by his parents Roy Dry Sr. and Willie Alvera Wicker Dry, his brother Roy Dry Jr., his sister Eleanor “Auntie” Perry and his sister Joan Birge.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Earlene Dry, his children, Renee Waggener and her husband Clay of Jasper, Aubrey J. Dry Jr. of Jasper, Ronnie Dry and his wife Gloria of Houston, and Eddie Dry and his wife Brady de Beaumont. His sister, Laura Berry of Corpus Christi, Texas and his brother, Audley Dry and his wife Pam of Victoria, Texas. His grandchildren, Clayanne Spadaccini and her husband Michael from Jasper, Jill Beatty and her husband Cedric from Jasper, Jacob Waggener from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Lawson Dry and his wife Krista from Brookeland, and Lacy Jordan and her husband Derek from Splendora. His great-grandchildren, Camden and Claire Spadaccini, Braelyn and Trevor Beatty, Jaeya Waggener and Arabella, Mary, Evelyn and Chasen Jordan.

Aubrey was born on the farm in Shelbyville, Texas in 1940, the fifth of six children in his family. His parents, uneducated, always insisted on the importance of education. He worked hard on the farm and at school, graduating with honors from Shelbyville High School in 1958. From a low school background, he began his education at Lee Junior College, where he lived with his older sister. It was at Lee College that he met his future wife, Earlene Albright (Dry) and the two were soon married while attending college. He worked summers doing construction and saved for his tuition every year while his wife Earlene worked full time as a bank teller. During his second year of college, his father died. It only spurred him to try harder to get the college education his father wanted him to get. After college, he began his studies at Lamar University and majored in civil engineering. While at Lamar, he worked as a student assistant for the head of the civil engineering department. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in June 1963 from Lamar University. He immediately began working for the US Army Corps of Engineers where he quickly earned his professional engineering license. One of his first assignments was to complete parts of the levee and pier systems in Galveston, Texas. He moved his family near his projects at the time and had homes in League City, Port Arthur and Nederland, Texas, where he worked as the project engineer for the construction of the Gulfgate Bridge (now renamed MLK Bridge) connecting the Texas and Louisiana at Pleasure Island. He moved his family to Jasper, Texas in 1972 to manage the Sam Rayburn and Town Bluff/Dam-B projects as resident project engineer until his retirement in 1999 after 36 years of service. He attained the rank of GS-13 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is equivalent to the rank of Army Lieutenant Colonel, and was commonly referred to as “chief” by his fellow Corps of Engineers.

Aubrey enjoyed collecting coins, postage stamps and his all-time favourite; railroad “date nails”. He had an extensive collection of “date nails” and was a life member of the Texas Date Nail Collectors Association. He was an avid gamer and enjoyed playing a game of dominoes where 42 and Moon were his favorites. You could usually hear him say “I shoot at the moon” or “shoot at it”…as he often did…and he often won! He was an avid genealogist and historian and began tracing the Dry family tree in the early 1970s and was still active in genealogy until a few years ago. He traced the Dry family back to the 1600s where he discovered that the surname “Dry” was originally “Dürr” before his 5th great-grandfather emigrated to America in the 1750s. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of the Republic of Texas and the Jasper County Historical Society.

Above all, he was a loving family man, a hard worker and the backbone of our family. He has always encouraged his children and grandchildren in all their activities, whether recreational, professional or school. He never said that he had no time to answer questions and that he could easily teach his children algebra and higher math even after leaving college for nearly 20 years. He always insisted on the importance of loving God, his house and his country and always treating others as one would like to be treated. Your kind thoughts and prayers will bless his beloved family.