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Col. Harold L. Pray

March 11, 2018
Col. Harold  L.  Pray
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Obituary for Col. Harold L. Pray

Col. Harold L. Pray (81), USAF Retired, of Santa Maria, CA passed away Sunday March 11th, 2018. Hal grew up in Weymouth, MA and graduated from Weymouth High School in 1954 where he immediately joined the Navy.

During his Navy years he served on the USS Monongahela and the USS Corregidor. He worked as a Quartermaster/Signalman on the ship’s bridge. He helped navigate through the Panama Canal and took 11 trips across the Atlantic and 4 trips across the Pacific and 1 trip around the world in exactly 80 days. He transferred into the Naval Reserves and attended Bridgewater State College earning a degree in Earth Science. His intention was to teach after being honorably discharged in 1957, but on a whim, he gave three buddies a ride to Cape Cod to take an entrance test for the US Air Force Officers Training program. Hal ended up taking the test as well and shortly afterwards his career in the USAF began.

Hal was stationed in Texas, Minnesota,Vietnam (2 tours), Alabama, England, Germany, California and Georgia. While he was stationed in Chandler, MN, he met Twyla Ruth Skouge and fell instantly in love. They married after a three month courtship. They had two children, Heather and Heath.

While stationed in Germany, Hal earned his Master’s Degree from Wayne State College, Michigan (an overseas extension program). After coming back to the states, he settled in Santa Maria and worked at Vandenberg AFB as Director of Personnel. He was promoted to Colonel before being reassigned to Robbins AFB, Georgia for his final six years in the Air Force. In all, Harold served a total of 35 years in the military.

In September of 1998, Twyla passed away after a battle with cancer. Hal was fortunate to meet a local Santa Maria woman, Edith Quaid. They married in 2001. They built a new home together, loved to read, travel and spend time with their new extended family and dogs.

Hal will be remembered for his love of gardening, fishing and genealogy. He wrote a wonderful book on his family heritage and is a member of the Mayflower Society.

Hal is survived by his wife of 17 years, Edith Quaid Pray; daughter Heather Minnoch and husband Mark of San Luis Obispo, and their children Drew and Dana; son Heath Pray and wife Sandy of Pismo Beach; stepson Leonard Quaid and family of Santa Maria; stepdaughter Cindy Quaid Bing and family of Santa Maria; sister Ruth Lodge of Colorado and sister Helen Farr of Massachusetts.

Hal was preceded in death by his parents Roger and Helen Pray; six brothers and one sister.

A memorial celebration of life will be held at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers the family requests contributions to Hospice.


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