Dean Bartel was born August 3rd, 1925 near Balko, Oklahoma, the second of five sons to Henry and Lorena Bartel. Growing up in the Dust Bowl and during the Great Depression, Dean went on to graduate from Balko High School in 1942. Dean was a WWII combat veteran, serving in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946 aboard the USS Duluth. After the war ended, Dean returned to the Oklahoma Panhandle to assist on the family farms. 1952 was an eventful year for Dean. He graduated from Panhandle A&M, married the love of his life, Louise Marker, and began his lifelong profession as a school teacher, starting at the Balko school. In 1955, Dean and Louise moved to Alta Vista, Kansas. During their time there, they had two children. In 1962, Dean received his Master's Degree from Emporia State Teacher College, and his family moved to Dodge City, Kansas, where he eventually retired after his long career at Dodge City Junior High School as an English teacher. Dean loved teaching and mentoring and he touched the lives of thousands of students over the years; he truly cared for them all.
After retirement, Dean enjoyed a passionate hobby raising and showing his Texas Longhorn cattle - some of which became regional and national prize winners. He loved talking about them - often inviting school or church groups to come to meet the gentle herd and learn of the breed’s rich history.
After thirty-eight years in Dodge City, Dean and Louise moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma in 2000, and finally to Tulsa in 2012 to be nearer to other family members. Wherever they lived, he became an active member of the Gideons and participated in Gideon events and projects at every opportunity.
Dean truly loved people and ‘never meet a stranger’ thanks to his friendly, outgoing, likable personality. He made friends easily and extended a special kindness to those most in need. He is preceded in death by his parents and 3 brothers, and his wife of 62 years. He is survived by his youngest brother, Zane, son Del in Tulsa, Oklahoma, daughter Holly in Bellows Falls, Vermont, 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
He will be truly missed as a devoted family man, a truly compassionate and generous person who conducted every aspect of his personal and business life with exemplary integrity and honesty. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy and many wonderful memories.
Services will be held at 11 AM, Friday, February 26th at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to The Gideons International at www.gideons.org/donate.
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