Bernard (Bernie) Duane Smith was born on March 1, 1961 in Liberal, Kansas to Bernard Wayne Smith and Wanda June (Hillman) Smith. Bernie grew up on his family ranch next to Crooked Creek, near Gate, OK. Doing daily chores was made more tolerable by jumping off the lean-to onto the backs of calves to ride across the corral. Bernie went to school in various small towns in the area including Kismet, Englewood, Gate, and finally Laverne; where he graduated high school in 1979.
Bernie met the love of his life, Dixie J. Franks in grade school, but lost touch for many years after Dixie moved away from the area. They were reunited after graduating high school when Bernie went to investigate who the new hot lifeguard was at the Englewood pool. They were delighted to find each other that summer and married a year later on June 6, 1981. To this union, four children were born: Daisy, Levi, Ashley, and Blake.
Bernie was not afraid of long hours and hard work, though he loved tending to cattle and driving cattle trucks so much, he hardly considered it work. He proudly served on the Englewood Fire Department for 38 years and Clark County EMS for 27 years. He was a man who never turned down helping people in need. This giving nature lent itself to forming Ashes to Ashes, where he and many others delivered hay to those experiencing the devastating loss of land and cattle.
Bernie never met a stranger and was well known for his bright eyes, sly smirk, crooked hat, and humility. He was a proud PaPa - who enjoyed taking the grandkids on the feed route, handing out endless poptarts and Cheetos, and playing silly pranks.
Surrounded by family on April 3, 2023, Bernie went to his heavenly home - with his boots on.
He was preceded in death by daughter Daisy and parents Bernard and Wanda.
His memory is carried on by his wife Dixie; sisters Bernadine and John Harris, June Smith; children Levi Smith, Ashley and Jimmy Dixon, and Blake and Ashley Smith; grandchildren Codie and Corie Dixon; Hazel, Logan, and Wyatt Smith. As well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The family requests no smoking around the Auditorium or cemetery and no strong perfumes or colognes to help avoid sensitive allergies.
Memorial donations may be made the the fire department of your choice or to the Bernie and/or Dixie medical fund at the Security Bank in Laverne, Oklahoma.
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