Smith, Walden Dean
Absent from the body, Present with the Lord
Final flight West Sunday, August 7, 2016
Dean was born on Sunday, March 3, 1935 in Fish Springs, Tennessee. When he was 5, his family moved to Salida, Colorado for his Dad’s job with the D & R G W Railroad. He wrote in a 6th grade class assignment that he wanted to be a pilot when he grew up. He kept a copy of that paper. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol where he soloed in a J-3 cub. After Dean graduated from Salida High School, he attended New Mexico A&M College in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He was accepted into United States Air Force Aviation Cadet Pilot Training class 59-H and began Basic Training in March, 1958 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He then went to Graham Air Force Base in Marianna, Florida for training in T-28’s and T-34’s where he met a tall, blonde student nurse. He asked her to dance while the music playing was “Stars Fell on Alabama”. His next assignment was Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas for training in T-33’s, where he earned his wings on June 10, 1959. Then ten days later, he married that student nurse. He was assigned to Harlingen Air Force Base to fly the Navigator Training program in T-29’s. Their son, David, was born there in October, 1960. Dean was then assigned to James Connolly Air Force Base in Waco, Texas to continue the Navigator Training Program. Their son, Kevin, was born there in August, 1964. He joined Braniff Airlines July 1, 1965 in Dallas, Texas. He flew almost every type equipment Braniff had over his career – Convair-240 and -340, BAC-111, B-707, B-727, B-747, A320. The highlight of his pilot career was flying the Concorde from DFW to Washington, DC on scheduled flights, after training in Toulouse, France. Since 1971, Dean was a member and Deacon at Northway Baptist Church. He served on several committees.
Dean is survived by his wife, of 57 years, Dottie; their son, Kevin and daughter in law, Vicki; daughter in law, Jana; granddaughter, Allison Fields, and her husband, TJ Fields; great grandson, Thomas Fields III; grandson, Andrew Smith; also survived by his favorite (only) mother in law, Myrtle DeLong; and several nieces and nephews.
Those preceding Dean to heaven are son, David; brother, Stewart; nephew, Michael Dean; and his parents, Paul and Velma.
Visitation will be on Thursday, August 11, 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Brooks Family Chapel of the North Dallas Funeral Home, 2710 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234.
Graveside Service will be on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 9:15 am at the DFW National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75211.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 2:00 pm at the Village at Northway Church, 3877 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, Texas 75229
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief, 5351 Catron Drive Dallas, TX 75227 or your church would be greatly appreciated.
Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.
It was such a nice pleasure to meet you, and what you had planned for my father just took my breath away. It was so special to hear you tell us how he would just come over to talk with you. I think it brought him much comfort. Tha you for putting that Air Force article of him on your website. I am going to have a replica made of the painting of his plane to give you. Thank you again for all you have done to honor our dad. Love, The Gillilands
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