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Rev. Wilber Dean & Marjie Lura (Story) Rainwater
Floral Haven Memorial Gardens
Tombstone Photo
Broken Arrow, Tulsa County, Oklahoma

© Dennis Wilson

Obit for Rev. Wilber posted by Jo Aguirre
Sep 4, 1919 - Sep 3, 2012

© Cherokee Messenger and Republican09/13/2012

OWASSO – Rev. Wilber Dean Rainwater was born to a very young Christian couple, members of First Baptist Church, Mingus, Texas, Luther Lee and Viva Zera (Lindsey) Rainwater Sept. 4, 1919, and stepped from this life Sept. 3, 2012 onto Holy Ground in the presence of God at the age of 93.

After Dean’s birth Lee and Margie Joyce joined the family. When Dean was 8 the coal mines in Mingus were closed and Luther moved his family to Alamosa, Colo. The deacon and his Sunday School teacher wife joined the First Baptist Church of Alamosa.

At 11, Dean accepted Christ as his Savior. The skies and Rocky Mountains became more bright and beautiful than ever before. When he was 13 he was called to preach. He preached his last sermon, “Left Handed Warriors” on Father’s Day at the age of 92. At 14 he performed his first wedding for Mary Lou and Earl Achatz. On July 28, 2012, from his hospital bed, he performed his last wedding for his granddaughter Deanne and Stevie Fernandez.

He began his pastoral duties at age 14 in the San Louis Valley in Colorado and at 17 he baptized 80 year old Mr. Pittman. At 88 he baptized his grandson, Cole Helsey.

During a revival he met his future bride, Marjie Story. She was saved and they were married on May 25, 1941. Soon they moved to Liberty, Mo. where Dean attended William Jewell College and pastored churches throughout the area. After graduation with a young wife and two children, Judie and Terry in tow, he began seminary in Kansas City, Mo. while working for the Railway Express Agency.

His first full time pastorate was in Marceline, Mo. where Debbie joined the family—then on to Paris, Mo. In 1949, he was called to Shields Boulevard Baptist in Oklahoma City and began his 63 years of ministry in Oklahoma—Sulphur Calvary, Atoka First, Pawhuska First, Easton Heights Tulsa, Cherokee First, Alfalfa First and Healdton First where he retired for the first time.

He then became director of the Ada Baptist Village during its construction and Chaplain in the Hugo Baptist Village where he retired again.

Dean and Marjie moved to Tulsa for his new career as interim pastor and doorman at 2300 Riverside where he retired for the last time.

As Marjie became ill with Alzheimer’s they moved to Owasso Baptist Village. Marjie passed away in November 2000. Jean Ragsdale, a widow and resident of the village, had prayed for nine years that God would send her a friend. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20. Dean entered her life as a friend and husband. They were married in the Owasso Baptist Village Chapel on Oct. 17, 2001. They were spiritual, intellectual and emotional equals. They had a great life together traveling, reading and discussing the Bible until her death in January 2011.

Dean wondered if his life had meant enough for the Lord and others; if he had given enough. His life has meant so much to his sister, Margie “Pig” Hollenbeck; his three children and spouses, Judie and Butch Reynolds, Terry and Sharon Rainwater, Debbie and Duane Brost; six grandchildren and spouses; 14 great-grandchildren; and 4 ½ great-great-grandchildren.

Dean will lie in state 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday with family receiving friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ninde Brookside Funeral Home. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Owasso Baptist Village, Owasso.

He will be laid to rest at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made in Dean’s memory to the Owasso Baptist Village, 7410 N. 127th E. Ave, Owasso, OK 74055. www.ninde.com.

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