We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Fry-Smith Funeral Home
Ricky Ray Dean, the first born child of Hollis and Betty Dean, was born July 31st, 1953 in Abilene, TX and passed on September 20th, 2022. He had the perfect childhood growing up on the family farm in Wingate and attended school in Wingate then Winters, where he graduated in 1973. While playing high school football for Winters, Ricky broke his neck but made a full recovery from that injury. Almost a year later, Ricky broke his neck for the second time while riding horses with Becky. This time he lost all motor function, was sent for a spinal fusion and was told he would never walk again. Well, they clearly did not know Ricky. Throughout his life, Ricky worked so hard, thriving when most anyone else would give up and he proved everyone wrong over and over again. Ricky went on to college at Hardin Simmons University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1978. After college, he went to work as the assistant chaplain at Abilene State School. Later, he moved to El Paso for three years and worked as a dispatcher for the University of Texas at El Paso’s security department. He moved back to Winters to go to work for Halliburton as a dispatcher where he made many friends. That was the thing with Ricky, he made friends wherever he was. People were drawn to him and the light he had. He was so loved at Mac Oilfield where he was dispatcher for many years.
Ricky loved the outdoors and spent most of his life hunting and fishing with family all around Runnels County for as long as he was able. His biggest passion in life was the Dallas Cowboys football team. He subscribed to their newsletter for years so he could tell you anything and everything about them. Ricky and Hollis both lived and died with every Cowboys win or loss. They were both eternal optimists and by every summer they were convinced, “THIS IS OUR YEAR!” Ricky even received a get well card one year that was signed by some of the Dallas Cowboys players. It hung on his wall from that day on, a prized possession. Ricky loved all kinds of music and had all the latest and greatest stereo equipment. I’m sure most of us here have owned a CD that Ricky burned for them with all his favorite songs. He was also a “foodie” before there was even such a term. He loved a good meal and was always ready for a cookout or to try the newest restaurant. He was a TV and movie buff and was one of the first people in Wingate to have a huge six or seven foot satellite dish in his front yard to get all the best shows and movies. When he found a movie he liked, he would watch it over and over just to be sure he didn’t miss a thing. Any time you were around Ricky, he wanted know all about you, your life and your family. He was always more interested in discussing others than himself. If Ricky asked how you were, he genuinely cared about your answer. You never heard him complain about any of the hardships he faced and his life was harder on a daily basis than most of us will ever know.
Ricky was preceded in death by his beloved parents, Hollis and Betty Dean. He is survived by his sisters Becky Stephenson and her husband Billy, Teresa Jobe and her husband Carey, and Carla Wilkinson and her husband, Bryant as well as the children and grandchildren of all three of his sisters. He was loved immensely by his sisters, brothers in law as well as his many nieces and nephews. His sisters were his best friends and he spoke with them almost daily as well as the many cousins and close friends who cared about him and checked on him regularly.
A funeral service is scheduled for 11:00 at Wingate Baptist Church. Donations can be made in Ricky’s name to West Texas Rehab Center or Mesa Springs LTC.