COL Edward Ray Smallwood, USA (Ret.), age 57 of Kingfisher County, left this earthly battlefield shortly before 0600 on November 3, 2014 to be with the ultimate Commander-in-Chief and accept a new and perfect assignment in heaven.
Born July 5, 1957 in Glenwood Springs, CO to Elmer and Janet Casteel Smallwood, Ed was preceded in death by his father, maternal grandfather, and paternal grandparents. He is survived by his wife Julie of the home; two sons and their wives, Aaron and Debra Smallwood of Omaha, NE and Andrew and Ashley Smallwood of Alexandria, VA; his mother, Janet and grandmother, Myrtle Casteel both of Grand Junction, CO; and, two brothers, Allen Smallwood and his wife Sharon and Kenneth Smallwood, all from Grand Junction, CO. He is also survived by five precious granddaughters, Katherine EmmaLee Anne Smallwood, Megan Angelike Smallwood, Annabelle Faith Smallwood, and Bethany Sky Smallwood all from Grand Island, NE and Dylennon Sahaia Smallwood of Omaha, NE. Ed leaves behind a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends from all over the world.
Services to celebrate his life will be at 3:00pm, Friday, November 7 at Buchanan Funeral Service Chapel preceded by a private burial at Ft. Sill Old Post Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 1:00 to 8:00pm at Buchanan Funeral Service with the family receiving from 5:00 to 7:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the North MacArthur church of Christ Library or the USO.
After living and working in exotic and not so exotic locations around the world, including Greece, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, he settled into Oklahoma life easily and felt at home. He was especially happy and content on his red dirt road, in spite of the challenges it presented keeping his white truck clean. The land, the quiet, tractor rides, his wife, and two dogs, Sadie and Duke, made this last year special.
Ed's greatest satisfaction and joy came from his family and friends. He was grateful for the wonderfully close relationship he had with his two sons, and was incredibly proud of the fine young men they were. He appreciated Aaron for sharing his love of all things history, a musical and artistic spirit, and being a good father to five daughters – knowing full well daughters are more complex than sons, at least to dads and granddads. In Andrew he saw the drive and dogged determination to be the best and achieve the most while balancing family and friends. Most of all Ed was happy Andrew and Aaron grew to be friends as well as brothers.
His five granddaughters brought out the softer side and he greeted them with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. He cherished memories of taking them swimming, carrying them on his shoulders, and being able to have one on one time with each of them. Special memories were of birthday celebrations, swim parks, science museums, concerts, driving on dirt roads, and one hilarious afternoon of letting them do his makeup and nails. His fervent wish was that they grow into strong, smart, capable young women.
Ed loved his brothers, Allen and Ken, and particularly enjoyed hunting and fishing with them, regardless of whether they were "successful". Being together was more important. The Smallwood men could laugh and enjoy a raucous good time, but were more than willing to have each other's back when times were challenging, and that gave him great comfort.
He loved and adored his princess, Julie, and was thrilled to have put a sparkle ring on her hand and to be her Colonel Prince. Together they lived life to the fullest, cramming as much into each moment as possible.
Special acknowledgements are given to the caring and compassionate medical team which took every possible opportunity to offer him a better life. Special thanks to Michael Keefer, MD, Linda Everett, and Shane Dougherty, the Mercy Oncology team who became friends over the course of treatment. Similarly, the family wants to thank the 4th floor "Infusion Crew", all of whom helped make the best of a less than desirable treatment protocol.
Services to celebrate his life will be at 3:00pm, Friday, November 7 at Buchanan Funeral Service Chapel preceded by a private burial at Ft. Sill Old Post Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 1:00 to 8:00pm at Buchanan Funeral Service with the family receiving from 5:00 to 7:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the North MacArthur church of Christ Library.