Keith Allen Dial, Sr. was born on October 20, 1930, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He was the first-born child of two of Fred Allen Dial and Susie Riggan Dial. They lived in Pine Bluff, Leola, and Hope, Arkansas, in his early years. He was always resourceful and helped the family by working as a newspaper carrier in Leola and an iceman at the age of 14 in Hope. The Dials moved to Bearden, AR, in 1945, right after the end of World War II. Keith was an outstanding high school athlete starring in football, baseball, and basketball. He attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, on a football scholarship playing both fullback and linebacker going both ways for most games all four years. He also played baseball for Ouachita, receiving a bid to play for a Major League Baseball team which his parents refused to let him accept. He graduated from Ouachita in the spring of 1952. He immediately entered the US Army with an ROTC commission as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry. He served in Korea just after the Armistice was signed participating in residual action near the DMZ.
In February 1953 he married his college sweetheart Carol Cooper. To that marriage a son Keith Allen Dial, Jr. was born while he was deployed in Korea.
Upon his honorable discharge from the military, he moved his family to Bearden, AR, where he and Carol taught in the high school, his being a football and basketball coach. The family moved to Commerce, TX, where he received a Master’s in Education from Texas A&M Commerce. Upon graduation he moved the family to Odessa, TX, accepting a job with Ector County ISD. He held many positions, including teacher, counselor, vice-principal, and director of special education before becoming assistant superintendent for instructional services. He retired from ECISD in 1988 having received many distinguished awards including the Heritage Foundation Award for Excellence in Community Service for Education, served on many state boards and was instrumental in the creation and development of the desegregation court order by developing a number of programs including a magnet-school program which a member of the Justice Department has called “the Cadillac of the magnet schools in the USA”.
After his first wife Carol passed away in 1989, he married Jane Anne Huffman in Odessa in 1993. They enjoyed 28 years traveling and being with their beloved families and spending many happy times at their mountain home in Ruidoso, NM.
He was a 65-year member of Highland United Methodist Church. He and Carol organized the Crusader Adult Sunday School class which he continued to teach for 32 years. He served on the administrative board as well as other church boards.
Keith was preceded in death by his first wife, his parents, and brother-in-law, Milton Haughton.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Jane Anne Dial; son Keith, Jr. and wife, Julie, Odessa; stepchildren Sharon Duff and husband Larry, Rosharon; Richard Huffman and wife Nancy, Aurora, CO; Tom Huffman and wife Deborah, Georgetown; grandchildren include Keith Allen Dial, III and fiancée Kali Lentz, Dallas, and Alyson Carol Dial, Midland; step-grandchildren Jeremy Duff(Jenna), Pearland; Caleb(Rochelle), Rosharon; Christopher, Denver; Angel, Aurora; Ryan(Jennifer), Pflugerville, and Blake(Katie)Georgetown; Madisen, Georgetown; four great grandchildren, Alyssa Duff, Paige Duff, Riley Huffman, and Kaden Johnson ; sister and brother-in-law Freda and Frank Benton from Midland; their children Greg(Mary Anne), Midland; Todd(Tish), Sanger, CA; great niece and nephew Katie Dial Winston(Drew), Dallas, and JD Benton(Shannon), Midland, and great, great nieces and nephew; Jane Anne’s brother, Robert Haughton, Florida, and sister-in-law Terri Haughton, North Carolina.
The family wishes to thank Home Hospice and especially Socorro Dominguez and Carolyn Meyers for their extraordinary loving help and caring.
Visitation will be Wednesday March 17, 2021 from 6:00-8:00pm at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home.
Funeral service will be Thursday March 18, 2021 at 2:00 pm at Highland Methodist Church with Jon Hendricks officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
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