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Businessman’s life, legacy celebrated Monday

5/8/2012

By DIANE GASPER-O’BRIEN

By DIANE GASPER-O’BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

To the general public, Dwayne Spady was the flower guy. Some didn’t even know his last name. Or they might have thought it was Designs.

Ask someone — just about anyone — about the tall man who owned Dwayne’s Designs in downtown Hays, and two things probably would come to mind. He was known for crafting mean floral arrangements of any kind, ones that often lasted long past their expected start-to-droop date, and he always had a smile on his face.

But those attending a service Monday at North Oak Community Church in Hays found out there was much more to Dwayne Spady than flowers.

Spady died Thursday, and his funeral was Monday at North Oak, which offered the use of its worship space for the services.

Spady is a member of House Fellowships of Hays, which holds its services in people’s homes.

Spady’s wife, Eugenia, and family knew there wasn’t a family home around that could hold the amount of people who would want to attend his funeral.

And Spady had a tie to North Oak, too. Rachel Ediger, wife of North Oak Pastor Ken Ediger, worked alongside Spady in his store for 17 years.

Membership of House Fellowships numbers approximately 50. The other 250 people at his funeral were members of the community who came to pay their respects.

On this day, those in attendance would learn Spady had many more loves than flowers.

He was a loving husband and father and grandfather, a man of strong faith and a friend to many. One of his strong points, one Fellowships member mentioned, was his vision and hope for the next generation, mentoring and counseling many a college and high school-aged student, as well as adults.

It came out loud and clear Spady had a passion for people and music and, of course, flowers.

So it seemed only fitting a large arrangement of one of his favorite flowers — sunflowers — stood front and center in front of a podium from behind which people spoke.

“Dwayne just loved flowers, so it would be hard for me to say which is his No. 1 favorite,” said Rachel Ediger, who made several of the floral arrangements for her boss’ funeral. “But I took a while on these. I wanted them to be something special.”

Coincidentally, Spady died of a heart attack while delivering flowers — on National Day of Prayer. Spady had been scheduled to pray at the Ellis County event Thursday.

Jake Glover, a member of House Fellowships who officiated the services, said Spady specialized in trying to make people’s lives on earth special in some way, maybe trying to give them a little taste of heaven.

“Dwayne’s heart has always been in heaven,” Glover said, “and he just caught up with his heart.”

Ediger said she canceled a lot of Mother’s Day orders at Dwayne’s Designs.

“We’re only going to take orders that we can fill with our limited staff,” she said. “We couldn’t do Mother’s Day like we usually do without Dwayne.”

Despite the loss to family, church, downtown Hays and the community, Glover urged people to honor Spady by carrying on his love of life.

“Dwayne did not allow sadness to linger,” said Glover, adding he would have liked all the music played at his funeral service.

“Dwayne loved to dance and sing,” he said, “and he enjoyed everything about music.”

Kenny Rigler, a member of the worship team who helped lead the music, agreed.

“Right now, he’s where he wants to be,” Rigler said. “And we get the great privilege to continue where he left off.”