Dean Frank Smith

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Dean Frank Smith, 85, a longtime resident of rural Welch, Oklahoma, passed away November 16, 2016, at his daughters home in Cordell, Oklahoma, after a short illness.

Dean was born May 22, 1931, in Sac Township, Iowa, to Ed Smith and Elzora (Ingraham) Smith.

He was raised by his Aunt Mabel and Uncle Matt Dye, and was later adopted by Mabel in his late teens.

Dean always knew Mabel as his mother and his children knew her as grandma.

He was a graduate of Fairland High School. Dean attended NEO A&M College then he continued his education at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah where he received his Master’s Degree.

He attended Pitt (Pittsburg) State where he obtained his Science and Chemistry Degree.

Dean taught elementary school in Granby, Missouri.

On July 3, 1952, Dean married the love of his life, Dorthy Lavern Colleen Thomas.

He proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War.

After returning from the military, he taught in Moline, Kansas, before returning to Welch, where he taught Science and Chemistry for 36 years.

For a number of years, while many teachers were enjoying summer break, Dean would take additional classes at Pittsburg State and other campuses throughout his career to continually further his education.

Dean and Dorthy enjoyed 58 years of marriage.

Dean was a longtime member of the Welch Baptist Church where he served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and music leader.

He loved spending time with his family and teaching the importance of a good education.

Dean was preceded in death by his wife, parents, one sister, and three brothers.

He is survived by two sons, Tim Smith and wife, Joie and Jeff and wife, Rebecca all of Welch; one daughter, Colleen and husband, Keith of Cordell; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

A visitation was held Sunday, November 20, 2016, from 4:00-6:00 p.m., at the Thomas Funeral Home Chapel in Welch.

Services were held Monday, November 21, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., also at the Thomas Funeral Home Chapel.

Pastor Sam Garner officiated. Pallbearers were Tim, Jeff, Will, Charles, and Caston Smith, Colt Young and Matt Teal. Military rites were conducted by American Legion Post 147.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Welch Public Schools Enrichment Foundation c/o Welch State Bank P.O. Box 129 Welch, Oklahoma 74369.

Online condolences can be made at

Services were entrusted to the Thomas Funeral Home in Welch.