Thomas Drayton died Tuesday, November 5th at Elim Nursing Home, surrounded by family and assisted by Hospice Care.

He was born on January 28, 1938 in Orchard, Nebraska to Gurney and M. Carol Drayton. He grew up and attended school in Orchard, Nebraska. He attended Wayne State College, Wayne, Nebraska and graduated from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado with a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology. He was a member of Acacia Fraternity while attending C.S.U. Tom served two years active duty and four years reserve duty in the United States Navy. After serving in the Navy, he worked as a credit reporter for Dun and Bradstreet in Nebraska and South Dakota. Later, he worked for the State of Nebraska as a dairy inspector.

Tom married Priscilla (Polly) Moller in 1962. In 1963, he purchased a franchise for King’s Food Host restaurant from founder Larry Price, Lincoln, Nebraska. Known for the “world’s best hamburger,” Cheese and Tuna Frenchees, it was located at 1332 Main Avenue, where Mom’s Diner is now located. Tom operated that restaurant for sixteen years. He was a realtor for the Land Office Company and later owned and operated the Mid-Town Laundry in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Tom was the local president of the Fargo-Moorhead AFS (American Field Service) high school foreign student exchange program for several years. He placed more than sixty students with host families during that time and he was also a host parent to students from eight different countries, eight different years.

Tom was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fargo and served on the boards of Trustees and Elders.

He loved his cats General Grant and “Bug.” Gospel hymns, original country music, and opera were his favorite types of music. Johnny Cash was his favorite performer. Before his health failed, he enjoyed golf, bowling, hunting, fishing, trapshooting, and woodworking. He also enjoyed the games of Bridge and Cribbage. He enjoyed the time spent with friends and family especially his children and grandchildren at home and at the lake cabin that he designed and he and his two sons built.

Tom is survived by his wife Polly and his sons Jay(Margot) Drayton, Jeff Drayton, and a daughter Jennifer Kuznia and eight grandchildren: Alexandra, Bailly, and Tommy Drayton, Greg, Gabriel and Grace Drayton, and Anthony and Jameson Kuznia. He is also survived by his mother M. Carol Drayton (100 years old), and his brother Terry (Martha) Drayton and sister Ann (Steve) Fuscher and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Gurney Drayton.

 Tom’s family would like to thank the Health Care Providers at Essentia Health, Vibra Hospital, and Sanford, Elim Care and Rehabilitation Center, Hospice of the Red River Valley during his care.

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