SPRING, Texas - Donald Ray Alford, 84, of Spring, Texas, passed away Jan. 3, 2014, at Memorial Hermann Hospital, The Woodlands, Texas. A celebration of Don's life was held Jan. 19 at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, The Woodlands, Texas.
Don was born Sept. 18, 1929, to Walter and Amelia Alford in Peoria, Ill. He was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in Peoria. He was truly a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. After graduating from Woodruff High School and Bradley University, he was united in marriage to Paula Humphreys on Sept. 16, 1951, also at Grace Lutheran Church.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954 at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Don was a high school, college and professional athlete. His name is in the Woodruff High School Hall of Fame, Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame and several basketball and baseball Bradley University Halls of Fame. He became a professional athlete when he signed with the Chicago White Sox as a pitcher in 1954. Don was also an avid golfer and fisherman. In Bartonville, Ill., he served on the Monroe school board. He was named to the board of directors of the Turlock Golf and Country Club in Turlock, Calif., and again at Interlaken Golf and Country Club in Fairmont, Minn. He also filled several roles at church, including church council and choir. In Fairmont, he was a member of the American Legion. Don worked for Armour/Greyhound Foods, which later became ConAgra Foods, from which he retired in 1991.
He is survived by his wife, Paula Alford; daughter, Cynthia Plummer (Dave); son, David Alford; granddaughter, Kristen Dutka (Mike); and great-grandson, Michael. Also surviving are his sister in law, Louise Alford; and his goddaughter, Laura Chambers; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Walter, Earl, David; his sister, Leah McCumber; and his granddaughter, Sarah Plummer.
Condolences may be sent to Paula Alford at 31714 Chapel Rock Lane, Spring, TX 77386.