William David Albright was born on July 24, 1923, the fourth of five sons born to Etta Squires and Galen Albright in rural Grundy County, Iowa, near Eldora. On December 11, 2016, at the age of 93, David died peacefully at home with his wife, Anne, at the Cedars in McPherson, Kansas. He is survived by four of their seven children, 26 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren; Catherine, Mark, and Matthew preceded their father in death.
David’s mother died when he was seven years old, and he and his brothers were raised by their stepmother, Gertrude, and their father, a farmer and a minister in the Ivester Church of the Brethren. Galen was a fine singer, and so were his sons—Wayne, Lyle, Miles, David, and Ellis—who sang together as the Albright Brothers all their lives. One memorable performance in their youth was in a revival meeting where Billy Sunday preached.
David sang to his bride, Anna Mae Metzler, during their wedding ceremony and through their 70 years together. Their children, Mary Nell Hoover (Marlin), James Yaussy Albright (Kim), Catherine Stover (Philip), John (Margaret), Mark, Peter (Sheri), and Matthew, grew up preacher’s kids. After McPherson College, David graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary and was ordained a Church of the Brethren minister. Pastorates were in Cerro Gordo, Illinois; La Verne, California (minister of music); Nampa, Idaho; Fort Wayne, Indiana (Beacon Heights and Agape congregations); and Newton, Kansas; and there were interim pastorates well into David’s retirement.
David was on the music faculty of Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, for three years. He used music in his sermons. He sang the tenor arias in Handel’s “Messiah”; he sang in a barbershop quartet in Nampa with his brother Ellis. He was a fun and inspirational campfire leader, and he loved singing in the Mennonite Men’s Chorus in Wichita, Kansas, in his 80s.
A conscientious objector in World War II, Dave worked always for peace, civil rights, and social justice. In 1963 he joined African-American ministerial colleagues and others from Fort Wayne to attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where he stood near the stage as Martin Luther King Jr. spoke. He and Anne were active in People for Peace in Kansas.
All his life, Dave was an athlete and an artist. Everyone in the extended family received birthday and anniversary cards created by Dad/Daddy/Grandpa. He loved state fairs. It is thanks to their parents and especially their father that the seven Albright siblings grew up singing and playing music; working for peace and justice; loving the West and national and state parks; camping; watching birds; fishing and loving those who obsess about fishing; and seeing the beauty in finding a really good rock.
A memorial service is planned for January 28, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., at the McPherson Church of the Brethren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be given to the Burton and Mabel Metzler Scholarship at McPherson College or Heifer International. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of W. David Albright please visit our Sympathy Store.