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Woodard County, Oklahoma

Elmwood Cemetery
Woodward, Oklahoma


Dalford Dean Lee

July 27, 1926 ~ November 7, 2018

© Billings Funeral Home
Reprinted with permission

Submitted by:Ann Weber

Dalford Dean Lee was born in Curtis, OK on July 27, 1926 to Opal (Gore) and Ray Lee. He was raised in the northwest area of Oklahoma. He served in World War II in the Army Air Corps as a tail gunner on a B17. He was proud of his service to his country.

He and his wife Lora Loureen (Shepard) were the proud parents of two boys, Larry and Gary. He worked multiple jobs to raise his family, including time working on the Santa Fe railroad and the Sharps lumber yard in Woodward where he developed a love for working with wood and constructing many things for his family. In 1965 they bought Lee's Restaurant in Fort Supply owning the restaurant for several years. Loureen passed away in 1966 from cancer. He continued to run the restaurant into the 1970's.

In 1970, he married Patricia (Fanning) Arrigenna. She brought two children to their marriage, Mary Jo and Bill. On their first date, Dalford instructed Pat on what to wear, and surprised her with an airplane ride which he piloted, followed by a square dance. She was a little skeptical and nervous, but they had a great time together ever since.

Eventually he went to work for the state of Oklahoma at Western State Hospital. After retiring from the hospital, he started working at Fort Supply Lake. While there he constructed many things including a fort and play area for kids. He did come out of retirement to do construction work on a pig farm in later years, where he was a very valued employee.

Dalford was a talented carpenter. He was always helping his family with any wood projects he could. He could do a lot of the math in his head but when he needed to write something down, he would just use the lumber to do his computations. When the project was done, there was very little material left over. He was very good at fixing things and used his MacGyver skills to make repairs.

Dalford was an avid fisherman. He would take anyone fishing any free minute he had. He continued to fish in the pond at Golden Oaks in Enid for many years. There are a lot of photographs of Dalford holding up the fish that he had caught. Later, at Golden Oaks, he was proud to take visitors out the pond to show he could take food out to the catfish in the pond and they would come to the top to eat the food. He and Pat were pet lovers and had several memorable pets over the years, including Bo, Mandy, Ling at Woodward and Sam at Golden Oaks. They also had numerous cats and kittens over the years. Another fun memory is when they still lived in Woodward he trained a squirrel to come down out of a tree to take nuts out of his hand.

He once gave Gary the advice (You will figure it out). Gary thought that was his Dad's best advice to him. Dalford worked hard his whole life yet never complained. As his and Pat's health failed, they always were slow to bring up their ailments and only when asked.

He was proud of his service to his country and would occasionally tell stories about his time in the Army Air Corps. He was on his B17 returning from Egypt where he had bought some perfume for his mother. The plane caught fire and they had to don their parachutes. His only thought at the time was he would not be able to give her the perfume. He looked forward to Veteran's Day every year.

Dalford professed his faith in God at an early age and was baptized at a lake east of Woodward. He and Loureen raised sons Larry and Gary in the Assembly of God Church in Woodward when they were young. Dalford and Pat attended Grace Mennonite Church in Enid, Oklahoma. In later years, they attended the church services at Golden Oaks.

Pat has a group of friends at Golden Oaks that Dalford named the Gossiping Grannies of Golden Oaks. They always included him in their chats. Later they were joined by a couple of other men. The group had a great time chatting and laughing in the dining area. Dalford was a great joke teller and there was plenty of laughter at the table.

Dalford loved his wife and his family always looked forward to their visits. When Bill visited all the way from New York, Dalford and Pat would make sure that all their children would get together. He was always interested in his grandchildren and great-grandchildrens lives. He would keep up on their accomplishments and what was going on in their lives.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Loureen; mother, Opal Fiel; father, Ray Lee; step-father, Adam Fiel; brother, Don Fiel; step-son, Bill Arrigena and son-in-law, Tad Dooley.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Patricia; sons, Larry and wife Susan of Derby, Kansas; Gary and wife, Janiece of Lawton, OK; daughter Mary Jo Dooley of Galva, KS; and brother-in-law Jerry Fanning of Fort Supply, OK. He is also survived by grandchildren Jeremy Lee and wife Melinda of McLoud, OK; Justin Lee of Bluffton, SC; Jeff Barron and wife Mandy of Woodward, OK; Christy Smith of Choctaw, OK; Stephanie Deen and husband, Jarrett of El Dorado, KS; Crystal and husband Justin of Ft. Wayne; Josh Peres of Galva, KS; Michele Peres of Las Vegas NV; 16 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the VFW Post 1335 of Woodward or the American Legion Post 19 of Woodward with the funeral home accepting the contributions.

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