Family, friends and store customers remember caring man

Faraj (Fred) Dally
By Megha Satyanarayana
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.”|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s