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A man whose strength, compassion and faith were an inspiration to all who knew him, Dean Barrett passed peacefully at his home in Grove, Oklahoma on February 22. Born September 20, 1919 Dean continued to work as a steadfast and beloved rancher and community leader well into his nineties.
Growing up on a farm in Calumet, Oklahoma, he experienced both the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression before attending college at Oklahoma A&M, now OSU, where he met his wife, Alberta Nicks Barrett, and earned a B.S. in Agriculture and later a Masters in Agricultural Economics.
After graduation in 1941, Dean enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served as a pilot and instructor throughout WWII beginning with the AT6 and later B17s and B 24s while in Las Vegas and finally B-29s in Roswell, New Mexico. Dean continued in the Air Force Reserves to become a Colonel and Commander of the Stillwater Unit and the Oklahoma City Air National Command Reserve Squadron, retiring in 1972. Patriotism and love of country were ever-present themes in his life.
After the war Dean bought a farm in Grove where he raised his three children and became an active part of the Grove community. He worked as the County Extension Agent at a time when the county had few financial resources and farmers needed assistance. He was President of the Oklahoma County Agents Association and was named Outstanding County Agent of Oklahoma in 1960. Dean then moved to Stillwater to work for OSU in the Agricultural Economics Department in Rural Area Development while still maintaining his farm in Grove.
Dean had a deep love of family, maintaining a close relationship with his six brothers and sisters throughout his lifetime with the “Barrett Family Reunion” being a “can’t miss” event. He set a strong example for his children with his unconditional love, reaching out and helping whenever needed.
Returning to Grove after his retirement from OSU, Dean enjoyed ranching and raising cattle. After Alberta’s passing, Dean married Anna Lee Spicer of Grove, and they were happily married until Anna Lee’s passing in 2021.
Dean’s many community activities included being a member of the Grove Christian Church for over 50 years, serving many years as an elder and Sunday School teacher. He was Chairman of the Grove Coop, served on the Board of the Delaware County Farm Bureau and chaired the Delaware County Agricultural Stabilization Board. He served on the Grove Ambulance Board and was a member of the Grove Rotary Club. A Charter Member and President of the Grove Kiwanis Club, he helped start the Kiwanis. Kids’ Park. Dean was also a local based board member of the Bank of Grove, later the Bank of Oklahoma.
Dean is predeceased by Alberta Barrett, Anna Lee Barrett, his oldest son, Ronald D. Barrett, son-in-law Charles Sutter, two brothers and three sisters. He is survived by his brother Melvin, his son Jim Barrett and wife Karen, his daughter Susan Sutter, daughter-in-law Mary Ann Barrett, seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and Mike, Greg and Jackie Spicer and their families.
Dean will be remembered for his strong hands and warm heart. His hands and heart reached out in so many ways, both large and small, to help his family, friends and neighbors. He was a man who lived his strong faith in God. “Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.” 2. Chronicles 15:7.
Memorial donations can be made in Dean's name to: First Christian Church of Grove, 102 W. 4th Street - Grove, OK 74344
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.