Neil Smelser died in Walla Walla, Washington on Friday, July 6, 2012. He was 86 years old. He had lived the last 30 years in Stanfield, Oregon. Born in Salem, Oregon on August 31, 1925, he was just an infant when his family returned to the Foster homestead at Sumner, Oklahoma. His parents were Mary Goldie and James Clide Smelser. Neil participated in 4H and FFA with hogs and milking shorthorn cattle while he was in school. He started breaking horses at a very young age, and enjoyed competing in rodeos before and after his service in the war. Neil graduated from Sumner High School in 1943 and left immediately for basic training in the U.S. Army. He served in the Philippines during WWII, until his honorable discharge in November 1946. Neil met Mary Ellen Ritthaler at the local movie theater and asked her for a date. They were the first couple to be married by Reverend Alger Fitch, who remained a lifelong friend, in Enid on April 10, 1948. Neil eventually joined his father on the homestead ranch in Sumner. They were blessed with two sons. Unfortunately, both boys died at very young ages. Upon this unfortunate turn of events, they decided to sell out and move to Oregon. They eventually settled in Albany, Oregon, where they were blessed with two daughters and another son. Soon the nomadic lifestyle the family would experience for the next 15 years, took them south into California. Neil supported his family mainly as a truck driver, and supported his childrens hobbies by doing any odd job he could fit in. All three surviving children remember their father as the best Daddy anyone ever had. Neil loved to dance to Bob Wills and any Big Band music. Neil danced a terrific 2step of his own design. He loved animals and always seemed to have some chickens and other fowl, sheep, horses, etc., around. One thing Neil was never without, was a favorite dog by his side. In Neils life he was a past member of the local VFW and Masonic Lodge, as well as the Lions and Eagles Lodges of Oregon. He was also an active member of the Linn County Oregon Mounted Deputy Sheriffs Posse while living in Albany. Neil greatly enjoyed his last job working with the Cooper Hay Farm family in Stanfield, Oregon, where worked up until the last three years. He also enjoyed the girls at the local Dennys restaurant. He was happiest telling stories and making others laugh. He is survived by daughters Mary Jo Hyatt and her husband Cliff of Texas, and Karen Sue Wilde and her husband, Gary of Oregon son, Ed Smelser and his wife, Marianne of Oregon grandchildren, Jessica Smelser, Sam Smelser, Salina WildePickens, Katy Wilde, Joe Wilde, Kimberly Saunders, Karen Lynn Pratt, Kristopher Hyatt and Keith Hyatt special niece Patricia Capps, many cousins, and his dog, Willy. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ellen, parents, Mary and James Smelser, older brother, Daniel and sons, Frank James and John Carl. Interment of cremains will be on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Grace Hill Cemetery in Perry. Arrangements are under the direction of BrownDugger Funeral Home in Perry, Oklahoma. Memorials may be made to the local VFW or the charity of the donors choice in care of BrownDugger Funeral Home, 1010 N. 7th Street, Perry, Oklahoma 73077. Online condolences may be sent to the family using the online guest book at www.brownduggerfuneralhome.com.