Dean Enright was born July 22, 1923 in Timber Lake, South Dakota. He was the oldest son of Bryan and Pearl (Wood) Enright. He died in his sleep Tuesday morning, May 17th, 2011. He was residing at Morningstar Assisted Living Center in Rapid City, SD.
Dean grew up southwest of Little Eagle, SD on a family ranch. He attended the Enright and Harding schools and graduated from Timber Lake High School in 1942. Following high school, he worked for area ranchers. Dean joined the Navy in June of 1944 where he was an Aircraft Machinist. He served in the Pacific Theater.
Following his discharge in April of 1946, he returned to the family ranch. After meeting Rita Ward at Nick Clinert’s barn dance, as Dean liked to tell it, he fell in love at first glance. Dean and Rita were married on Christmas Day, 1947, at Timber Lake. They started their own home and ranched near Rocky Ridge for almost 20 years. During that time, five kids were born.
In 1966, Dean sold the ranch and went off to college at the age of 43. Many family members thought he was crazy and expected him to flunk out. He went to Brookings SD and enrolled at South Dakota State University. He graduated in 1970, 2nd in his class of 227. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi! His oldest daughter, Rita Lynn and his future son-in-law Mel Pittman, all graduated the same year. He had a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture. After graduation, he worked for the Farmers Home Administration in Rapid City, Hot Springs, McIntosh, and Bison SD, Springfield, Colorado, and Torrington, Gillette and Wheatland, Wyoming.
During his 15 ½ years with the FHA, he worked with about every type of agriculture. He served as an assistant county supervisor, county supervisor, retiring as an assistant district director. When the computer age hit the county offices, Dean told his supervisor that he “wanted up, down, or out” because he wasn’t interested in dealing with computers. They promoted him to the assistant directorship. He retired in 1985 and moved to Nisland, where they lived for 20 years. Dean and Rita moved to the Serenity Corner Assisted Living Center near Spearfish SD, in May of 2005. Rita died in July of 2005 and Dean spent the next 5 years there before moving to Rapid City in October of 2010.
Dean enjoyed his retirement. One of the first things he did was build a woodworking shop. Mel provided him with several large loads of cow manure and he planted a large garden. He loved to take care of his lawn and garden. He created beautiful projects in his shop. Many wooden pieces won best show at the Butte-Lawrence County fair. Dean helped at the fair for many years. He mowed and trimmed many, many weeds. He pounded dozens of nails into the bleachers. He worked long days preparing for the fair. He helped school kids at the Preston Middle School with their reading and math. Dean served on the Nisland town board and was a member of the Nisland American Legion. He was a member of the Legion’s color guard as well.
Dean is survived by five children: one son, Wiley Bryan Enright of Nisland; four daughters, Rita Lynn Enright of Sacramento CA, Juanita (Mel) Pittman of Nisland, Dakotah (Bill) Boyd of Sacramento CA, Deann Enright of Spearfish SD; 4 grandchildren, Pandi Pittman of Wall SD, Ross (Teresa) Pittman of Nisland, Jared Montoya of CA, CharLee (Jake) Bachman of Fruitdale S,; 3 great granddaughters, Dani Herring of Wall SD, Alicia Montoya of CA, and Bristol Bachman of Fruitdale SD. He is also survived by numerous sisters and brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews and all of his lifetime friends and neighbors, especially of his college friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Rita; 2 brothers, Bruce and Bryce; and sister, Delores Olson.
Services will be held 10 am Friday May 20th, 2011 at Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche with Pastor Kim Bachman officiating. Visitation will be held 8 am to 9:30 am Friday. Interment will be held at 12 noon on Friday at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.