Dickie “Dick” Gene DeFriese

Dickie “Dick” Gene DeFriese

1932 – 2023

Dickie Gene (Dick) DeFriese, 91, of Edmond, OK, passed away on Thursday, November 9, 2023. Born in Seminole, OK on October 19, 1932, the youngest of six, to Jesse Clinton and Alma DeFriese. As a standout basketball player for the Seminole Chieftains, he lettered and played Varsity all three years; and was often written up in The BIG CHIEF Seminole High School Newspaper with stories of scoring with his best friend Bobby Patterson. He graduated from Seminole High School in 1950, and later that year volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Force. After basic training in Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX, he served at bases in Denver, Sacramento and Saudi Arabia; and was released with an honorable discharge in December of 1954. After serving his country for four years, he returned to Oklahoma to complete his education at East Central State College in Ada. He played on the East Central State tennis team and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Education.  

Back from the service, he and his red Studebaker caught the eye of the love of his life and they were married August 10, 1958. He raised three children in Bethany and worked for Ciba-Geigy as a pharmaceutical rep for over 30 years. He had great relationships with the physicians he called upon and hosted many tennis tournaments showcasing pharmaceutical products. He went on a backpacking trip to Alaska, and also a bicycling trip through France with his physician friends. He was an avid runner competing in numerous Oklahoma Fun Runs around the State. He loved watching OU and OSU football games and loved taking his family to the mountains of Colorado at every chance. He would talk about his Lord and Savior any time someone would listen. If you stood still next to him long enough, you would hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Life events took him out to the countryside in Blanchard, Oklahoma where he brought Jesus to another family. In retirement, he studied the Bible through Bible Study Fellowship for many years. He enjoyed three trips to the Holy Land and included his remaining widowed sister, Lena. He had a very spoiled Horse named Rusty and he enjoyed working on the landscape and taking in the sunsets over the horizon. He was GrandPa to all of his grandchildren and step-grandchildren and was adored by all of them. 

Eventually life brought him back to his family to live in Edmond, OK. Soon after, God also brought his best friend from Junior High and High school to live in Edmond. They spent many Mondays going to lunch and traveling back to their old stomping grounds to get a haircut or eat at the local diner.

He will be remembered for his kind and loving spirit, self-sacrifice, and integrity.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings. He is survived by his sons: Bruce DeFriese and wife Patty of Edmond, Ted DeFriese of Denver, CO; grandson Travis Baker of Edmond, OK; granddaughter Jesse Blythe Skidmore and husband Samuel of Kandern, Germany; and grandsons: Jared DeFriese of Costa Mesa, CA and Jacob DeFriese of Fayetteville, AR; Great-grandchildren James Skidmore of Kandern, Germany and his new sibling on the way; nine step-grandchildren, six step great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Serving as honorary pallbearers are his two sons, three grandsons and his hometown best friend, Bob Patterson.

Public visitation will be held Thursday, November 16, 2023, from 5:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. at Matthews Funeral Home.

Services will be held Friday, November 17, 2023, beginning at 2:00p.m. at Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma.

To watch the slideshow please use the following link.


4 thoughts on “Dickie “Dick” Gene DeFriese”

  1. Morgan Smith

    My grandpa was such a special person— the only man I have ever known that was gentle enough to be happy as can be going butterfly catching. He and Grandma even planted a butterfly bush to bring more around for us to chase together. I will forever miss getting frequent phone calls telling me all about what he thought of my muffins and jams that week.

    I learned well what true love looks like from growing up watching him and my grandma, June DeFriese together. The only consolation in this loss is that he is reunited with the woman he loved and missed so much.

  2. Christy Hill

    My Grandpa was one of the kindest men I have ever known in my life. I have so many wonderful memories of the time we spent together and will cherish those for the rest of my days. I may have been born before he married my Grandma June, but that never mattered to him. To Grandpa, family was family no matter how they came together. When I would hear the story of how my Grandparents came to be together, my Grandpa would always laugh and say that my Grandma really made him work for it, but I always believed that with his kind soul, generous spirit and quiet determination, there was no way he wasn’t going to win her over. Their love and caring for one another was noticed by anyone that had the opportunity to be around them. Although they only had 34 years together on this earth, it brings me peace to know that they are now reunited in Heaven. I love you, Grandpa . Until I see you again…

  3. Ashley Freeman

    Grandpa Defriese, I can’t say enough good things about him. I will always remember him for his gentle, kind hearted, loving disposition. He was always more concerned with taking care of everyone else before himself. Truly a selfless man who loved God and was always a joy to be around. He had such a love for life and the people around him and while I miss him here on earth, it is comforting to know he is filled with so much elation to be in heaven worshipping Jesus.

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