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Byrl's Story

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Byrl Burris Smith, Sr, 79 year old resident of the ranch near Gage, OK, went to be with the Lord on March 15, 2016. He was born November 6, 1936, in Hugoton, KS, to Percy and Rose Etta (Shepers) Smith. Byrl was raised near Satanta, KS, attending Satanta Public Schools, graduating with the Class of 1954. Byrl continued his education at various trade schools.

Byrl proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps active duty from 1956 to 1958, followed by four years in the reserves. Before being honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal, he received awards as a pistol marksman and rifle sharpshooter.

On December 13, 1958, Byrl was united in marriage to Vaudie LaRue Fitz in Arnett, OK. They were blessed with four children, Kathy Kay, Byrl Burris, Jr, Debra Dalynn and Ricky Dale. Prior to settling on the ranch north of Gage, Byrl worked in the oilfield in a variety of locations including Hugoton, KS, Albuquerque, NM, Farmington, NM, Shattuck, OK, Moberly, MO, Farmington, IL, and Turpin, OK. Byrl continued working in the oilfield from the ranch and additionally ran cattle.

Byrl was baptized in 1962. He and Vaudie were faithful and active members of the First Assembly of God Church in Woodward, OK. Byrl loved meeting the needs of people, teaching Sunday School and serving on the church board. He hosted church activities on the ranch including hayrides, class parties, bonfires and a sunrise Easter service. As a testament to his profound faith, the first thing he did after buying the ranch was to place a large cross on the most prominent hill for all to see. That cross stands today.

Byrl was proficient at operating most heavy equipment used on the ranch or in the oilfield. Although leisure time seldom comes to a rancher, he appreciated the opportunity to fish, hunt, weld, skeet and target shoot.

He was preceded in death by his parents Percy and Rose Etta Smith, sisters Opal Kretzinger, Kate Sparkman, Enola Buffium, Bonnie Mills, and Iliene McQuitty, brothers Bill Anderson, Dale Anderson and Andy Anderson.

Byrl is survived by his wife Vaudie LaRue Smith; children Kathy Stoops and husband Fred of Tulsa, OK, Byrl Burris Smith, Jr and wife Shelby of Tulsa, OK, Debra Blackburn and husband Duane of Yukon, OK, and Rick Smith and wife Yuko of Tucson, AZ; sister Joyce Forester of South Bend, IN; grandchildren Karman Stoops, Fred Stoops, Jr, Gabriel Stoops, Byrl "Burris" Smith III, Brendan Smith, and Matt Blackburn; great-grandchildren Cheyenne and Makenzie Blackburn; several nieces, nephews, other family and a host of friends.
Published on March 21, 2016
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