In the minutes before Faraj
(Fred) Dally's funeral began on Saturday in Southfield, Mother
of God Chaldean Catholic Church echoed with the haunting sounds
of the rosary being chanted in Chaldean.
Friends, family and customers of the longtime
party store owner filled the pews and spilled into the church
lobby, each coming to pay their respects to the 63-year-old man
who was shot in the head during a robbery Tuesday as he opened
his shop on Dexter Avenue in Detroit.
Police have not made an arrest, and a $50,000
reward is on the table for anyone who helps find the killer of
the man whom customers called a blessing.
"If your baby didn't have no milk, you'd come to
Freddy," said Ronald Pendleton, 53, a longtime customer of the
Medicine Chest. He and others said when money was tight, Dally
would just give them what they needed.
"Every time I asked him for something, he gave me
something," said Everrett Smith Jr., 33, another of the many
customers who came to Saturday's service.
Nora Petrous, a close friend of the family, said
the Chaldean community has gathered in unity around the Dally
family. He once served as president of the Associated Food and
Petroleum Dealers. She said the family is barely coping, and
struggling with pain and anger.
Dally's death is the fourth high-profile murder
of a Chaldean shopkeeper in metro Detroit in the past two years.
He leaves behind three sons, his wife and two grandchildren.
• Mazin Khmoro, 48, of Farmington Hills was
killed Oct. 6, 2010, as he took out the trash at Cronin's Liquor
Store in Southfield. Bruce Butler, 48, was arrested the
following August and is being tried for Khmoro's killing in
Oakland County Circuit Court.
• Karim Khamarko, 64, of Southfield was killed
Nov. 26, 2010, while he worked alone inside the Dollar Plus Club
in Ferndale. Khamarko's family said Friday they were unaware of
any arrests in the case.
• Fares Atto, 54, was killed at Stars Liquor
Store in River Rouge on Dec. 19, 2011. On Saturday police were
unable to provide information about the case.
At Dally's funeral, the Rev. Anthony Kathawa sang
Dally's praises, through stories. He talked about a man who went
to the hospital to visit sick people and who gave his store's
products away when people needed them.
The service alternated between Chaldean and
English and when it was over, the church emptied into the
parking lot for the burial at a nearby cemetery.
"All I hear is how much he did for the
community," Kathawa said, as the attendees burst into applause.
"We have to walk in his amazing footsteps."