Harrel Dean Kent was born August 28, 1933 in Elk City, Oklahoma to Beulah Mae and Harrel Newcomb Kent. He passed away September 5, 2015 at his home west of Elk City, Oklahoma at the age of 82 years and 7 days.
Dean grew up and lived just north of the place that was homesteaded by his grandfather, William T. Kent in 1899. He attended and graduated from Berlin High School in 1951 and continued to be active in the Berlin community. After graduation, Dean was married to Helen Sue (Lewis) Kent on June 30, 1953 in Sayre, Oklahoma and they continued to operate the family farm and ranch. Dean was also employed by the USDA part-time measuring crop acreages, Williams Gin in Elk City as a bookkeeper during ginning seasons and the Elk City Livestock Auction on Saturdays. In 1961, Dean obtained employment at the Production Credit Association of Clinton as a field man, loan officer, vice president and acting president for 26 years. Dean later married Dora Beatrice (Watson) Kent on August 3, 1973 at Arapaho, Oklahoma. It wasn’t until 1987 when he joined the First National Bank and Trust of Elk City that he completed his banking career retiring in 1998. He continued to serve on the board until ill health prevented him from doing so. In 1999, Dean was awarded the Centennial Ranch Award, which is awarded by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture recognizing those families that have operated their family’s land for 100 years. Dean was always very grateful that he had the opportunity to operate this family treasure during his lifetime. Of the now 116 years in the family, 60 years can be credited to Dean’s great stewardship of the land.
Dean was generous with his time and spent it in volunteer work, community projects and was always available to his family in many ways too numerous to mention. Since his retirement from the bank in 1998 he was very active with the Western Oklahoma Historical Society serving as President, vie-president and second vice-president. He was an active member of the Farm and Ranch Committee and spent countless hours helping keep the museum open, the exhibits updated and other projects around the museum including the chili cook-off. Dean was also past president of the Berlin Saddle Club, served on the Berlin Cemetery Board and was a past president of the Berlin School Board. On November 14, 2006, Dean was recognized for his service to western Oklahoma when he was inducted into the Western Oklahoma Historical Society Hall of Fame.
Although Dean was hard working and giving of his time, he always kept the Lord and his faith his main priority. Serving with the Second and Adams Church of Christ, he was able to serve as a Bible Class teacher, worked in the Missions Ministry and assisted in any other area that were needed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harrel and Beulah Kent, sister June Kent Minor and wife, Dora B. Kent.
He is survived by his two sons Dan Kent and wife, Cheryl, Enid, OK; Chris Kent and wife, Brenda, Huntington Beach, CA; two children that he thought of as his own, daughter Terri Kent Fanning and husband, Terry of Lubbock, TX; son, Monte Kent and wife, Danna, Clinton, OK; ten grandchildren, Justin Kent and wife, Jessica, Forney, TX, Gina (Kent) Thornton and husband Bryce, Enid, OK, Katie (Kent) Kolstad and husband, Chris, Lakewood, CA; Kara Kent-Bursinger and husband, Erik, Seal Beach, CA; Kirk Fanning and wife, Margaret, Hickory Creek, TX; Jamie (Fanning) Lane and husband, Allen, Lubbock TX; Toni (Fanning) Riley and husband Matt, Chicago, IL, Lynsi (Kent) Mayfield and husband, Warren, Elk City, OK; Taylor (Kent) Perkins and husband Daniel, Hollis, OK, Conner Kent, Clinton, OK; 14 great grandchildren, Caden Kent, Cora Kent, Brett Thornton, Cooper Thornton, Kent Kolstad, Kai Bursinger, Ava Bursinger, Jaden Fanning, Tyler Fanning, David Fanning, Spencer Fanning, Keagan Lane and Sarah Lane and another great grandson expected in November, one sister, Blanche (Kent) Ross, Springfield, MO; and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on September 8, 2015 in the Second and Adams Church of Christ of Elk City at 10:30 a.m. with interment in the Berlin Cemetery.
Whinery Funeral Service online September 6, 2015