Harold Dean Niles

Harold Dean Niles


On January 13, 2022, Harold Dean Niles passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus in his home surrounded by love. Dean was born May 7, 1926 to Harry and Grace (Campbell) Niles. He was born in a sod house on their family farm north of town in Beaver, Oklahoma. Dean was the second to the youngest of eight children. He had three sisters and four brothers. He attended Beaver Schools all twelve years and graduated from BHS in 1944. He married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Virginia Jenkins, on October 22, 1946. Together they had four children: Deana, Brenda, Brent and Stacey. They were married 72½ years until her death on June 9, 2019. Dean lovingly, patiently and selflessly took care of his Honey throughout their marriage, and he dedicated himself to her care even when her memory and health faded. A true love story never ends.

Dean had many wonderful experiences growing up on the farm which most certainly molded him into the exceptional man he became. Listening to his stories of days gone by were always treasured moments for his family.

Dean was drafted in the U.S. Army and proudly served his country during World War II. He was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, Company K, 35th Regiment. He was a 60-millimeter mortar crewman. He served in the Philippines, earning the Combat Infantry Badge and later in Japan as part of the occupation forces. Dean was a patriot through and through and taught his family to love, honor and respect the country he served so well.

Upon his return home, he and Virginia married, then moved to Weatherford, Oklahoma for Dean to attend college at Southwestern Oklahoma State University on a football scholarship. He was a celebrated athlete and lettered in several different sports at SWOSU. To this day, Dean still holds the record for the longest punt return, a 93-yard return which resulted in the game-winning touchdown. In 1950, during his senior year at SWOSU, the U.S. Army called him up for duty in the Korean War. He served administratively stateside at bases in Michigan and Maryland.

Dean graduated from SWOSU in 1952 with a double major in Physical Education and Industrial Arts. He began his first teaching job at Beaver High School while also serving as the head

basketball coach and assistant football coach. He received his Master’s degree in Secondary School Administration from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado in 1958. In 1960, Dean became the full-time High School Principal. He was the ultimate Beaver Duster! He was a Beaver student, athlete, (lettering in four sports all four years), drum major, teacher, coach and high school principal.

After 23 years of service to Beaver Schools, he and his family moved to Edmond, Oklahoma in 1975 to begin working for the State Department of Education. During his tenure there, he was the Drivers Ed Coordinator, oversaw the School Lunch Programs, was the Childcare Food Program Administrator, was appointed Director of Regional Service Centers, and was celebrated with 40 years of distinguished service awards for education in Oklahoma at both secondary and State Department levels. After 17 years with the State Department of Education, he retired in 1991.

Dean served 33 years as an Elder for Edmond Church of Christ where he and his family were faithful servants, carrying out the work of the Lord through service to others and sharing Jesus to the world. Dean and Virginia leave behind a beautiful legacy of showing how to love the Lord first, how to love family, and how to love others. They were the ultimate example of all three.

He was greatly admired and described as favorite teacher, favorite coach, favorite uncle, Godly, humble, supporting, encouraging, a symbol of kind leadership, a pillar of life, and a consummate gentleman with an infectious smile. He carried himself with dignity and fairness. Dean exuberated love through everything he did. He loved well and was well loved, a great example of a life well lived.

Dean is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Virginia, his parents, his siblings and their spouses, his son-in-law, Chris Bolen, and his great grandbaby Mercy B. Knight.

He is survived by his adoring family, children Deana Olsen and husband Larry, Brenda Bolen, Brent Niles and wife Cindy, Stacey Knight and husband David. His eleven grandchildren who lovingly call him “Dandy,” Todd Olsen and wife Sandy, Chad Williams, Aubree Danielson and husband Brian, Aaron Niles, Tyler Knight and wife Lauren, Rhett Bolen and wife Elizabeth, Tara Quattlebaum and husband Craig, Ashley Newell and husband Ketric, Tessa Roberts and husband Jake, Amy Gillett and husband Wes, Alycia Maurer and husband Robert, and soon to be 29 great grandchildren, many loving nieces, nephews, sisters-in-laws and brothers-in-laws.

A leader must be a man whose life is above reproach.

He must be faithful to his wife.

 He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation.

He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.

Not quick to quarrel but gentle and peaceful.

1 Timothy 3:2

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m., Monday, January 17, 2022 at Matthews Funeral Home with family present to greet friends. Services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, January 18, 2022 at Edmond Church of Christ with interment to follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.

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