HOLMESVILLE — R. Dean Smith, 83, of Holmesville, died peacefully Monday, May 21, 2012, at Pomerene Hospital with his children by his side.
Dean was born Jan. 6, 1929, in Wooster to Forest and Hildred “Babe” (Pyers) Smith. He graduated from Holmesville High School in 1947, and married Jeanne Boring on April 22, 1956. She preceded him in death on Sept. 18, 2000.
Dean served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army from 1952-1953 during the Korean War in the 503rd Regimental Combat Team. In 1952, Dean also began his career in the oil and gas industry, working for the East Ohio Gas Co. He co-founded Buckeye Oil Producing Co. with Ross K. Shoolroy in 1961, and held the office of President and CEO for many years. In 1975, the family business of H.I. Smith Oil & Gas Inc. was founded. Up until his death, he was active in the family business along with his four children. Dean was inducted into the Ohio Oil and Gas Association Hall of Fame in 2002.
Dean was a member of the Holmesville Church of Christ. He was an avid gardener, providing much produce to the residents of Holmesville. Dean had a lifetime love of farming and recently reached his goal of acreage held in Holmes and surrounding counties.
Dean was a member of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, Lodge 0199, Bladensburg. He obtained his Scottish Ride Bodies in the Valley of Canton and was also a Shriner. Dean also was a member of the Fredericksburg American Legion Post 651.
Dean lived most of his life in Holmesville and was named the town’s Citizen of the Year in 1993, along with his wife, Jeanne. Education was very important to Dean which prompted him to begin the R. Dean and Jean A. Smith Scholarship Fund through the Holmes County Education Foundation.
Dean’s greatest love was that which he had for his family. He spent much of his time supporting his children and grandchildren at various events. He especially enjoyed hosting Sunday evening family dinners each week.
He is survived by daughters, Kim (Kenny) Jacobs, Tammy (Ed) Haudenschild, Lisa (Louie) Stanley; son, Rick Smith; grandchildren, Jennifer (Kevin) Troyer, Kendra Jacobs, Lee (Tara) Jacobs, Lindsey (Brian) Bloomfield, Brad Haudenschild, Courtney (Micah) Roach, Tyler Smith and Brenden, Reid and Logan Stanley; great-grandchildren, Dawson, Lane, Audrey and Beau Troyer, Rayce and Jett Jacobs, Remi Mays and Londyn Bloomfield. He is also survived by a sister, Marianne (J.B.) Lytle; sister-in-law, Sue Smith; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his identical twin brother, R. Gene Smith; and great-granddaughter, Olivia Troyer.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Holmesville Church of Christ, with Don Campbell officiating. A private family interment will be in Prairie Township Cemetery, Holmesville, with military rites being conducted by Fredericksburg American Legion Post 651. Friends may call Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Alexander Funeral Home, Millersburg, with Masonic services beginning at 8:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the R. Dean and Jean A. Smith Scholarship Fund, in care of Holmes County Education Foundation, 114 N. Clay St., Millersburg, OH 44654; or to Hospice & Pallative Care of Greater Wayne County Inc., 2525 Back Orrville Road, Wooster, OH 44691.
Dean’s children would like to express their sincere gratitude to Dr. D.J. McFadden, Hospice of Holmes County and the staff at Pomerene Hospital for the wonderful care they provided for their father and their families.Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.