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Dean Willmont Smith was born June 5, 1933 to Ralph Kenneth Smith and Margaret "Dolly" (Good) Smith, in Ponca, Nebraska. He passed away October 15, 2022, in Grants Pass, Oregon.
He was 89.
Dean attended school in Nebraska until his family moved to Washington State, to the city of Oroville. There he completed elementary and high school, graduating from Oroville High School in 1951. He attended 2 years of college at Wenatchee Valley College, graduating in the field of Agriculture. After college, Dean served 2 years in the US Army, followed by 6 years in the reserves.
In August of 1959 he married Nellie Robinson in Oroville, Washington. They eventually moved to Portland, Oregon, which was their home until 2012. He began working for the United States Postal Service in 1965 as a letter carrier, and eventually became a Special Delivery Messenger. He was very active in the American Postal Workers Union, Local 128. He served as a local officer and later at the state and national level as an arbitrator. Dean was with the US Postal Service for 30 years. Once he retired in 1995, he began working in sales, selling postal workers their uniforms. He worked for various companies, covering most of the state of Oregon, until finally, at the age of 87, and having worked a total of 55 years, he retired for good.
Dean was supportive of his four children, with whatever they were involved in, most especially as a helper in his sons' Cub Scout Pack 803, and later Boy Scout Troop 804, helping his youngest son achieve the rank of Eagle. Family trips to the Oregon Coast, hikes and trips with the scouts, and inner tubing at Snowbunny Lodge on Mt. Hood were enjoyed by all. He was a baseball fan, especially the Mariners, and his family has fond memories of attending games together, and watching them on TV. He was devoted to his wife, Nellie, who he was married to for 63 years. He loved country music, reading jokes in Reader's Digest, and will be remembered by many for his loud, contagious laugh.
Dean is preceded in death by parents, Ralph Kenneth Smith and Margaret "Dolly" (Good) Smith, his sister Evelyn (Clair) Murdock, his brothers Merlin (Vera) Smith, and Delmar (Sally) Smith, as well as John E. Smith, who died at birth. He is survived by his wife Nellie; his sons Doug Smith of Cottage Grove, OR, and Kevin (Serena) Smith of Boring, Oregon; his daughters Karen Smith and Julie (Jim) Kriz of Grants Pass, Oregon; as well as seven grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren, former daughters-in-law, and friends along the way. We will all miss him.
Memorial contributions can be made in his honor to the American Diabetes Association.
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