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1930 Dean 2019

Dean Pryor

November 22, 1930 — March 4, 2019

Richard Dean Pryor, passed away peacefully March 4, 2019 at the age of 88. He was born November 22, 1930 in Corning, KS to Cecil Pryor and Agnes (Lamoreaux) Pryor. Dean grew up in Fredonia, KS and graduated from Fredonia High School in 1949. His father, Cec Pryor, was one of his high school coaches and encouraged him toward athletic excellence. During high school he was a 4-year letterman in Football, Basketball, and Track. Dean’s senior year he was selected Co-Captain of the All State Football Team in Kansas. The summer following graduation Dean competed in the National Decathlon in Tulare, CA, coached by his father he finished 8th in the competition. Following high school, Dean had numerous scholarship offers and chose the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. As a Razorback he was a 3-year football and track letterman. During his collegiate career, he won the decathlon at the Kansas Relays, was a football co-captain his senior year at Arkansas and competed in the 1952 Olympic trials as a decathlete. Dean completed his undergraduate work in Education and earned a Master’s in Education from the University of Arkansas graduating with honors. On August 9, 1953, he married his college sweetheart, Betty Castleberry in Newport, AR. Betty passed away January 5, 2012. Dean followed in the footsteps of his father as a coach; influencing many young men throughout his career. His coaching career took him many places through the years and there were numerous highlights. Among them, his 1960 Track and Cross Country Teams at Coffeyville Junior College won National Championships. When Dean took the head coaching job at Hastings College in Nebraska, he hired his former Wichita State player, Bill Parcells, as one of his assistant coaches, launching the career of this NFL Hall of Fame coach. While Dean was coaching at Kansas State University, the Wildcats handed the Sooners from the University of Oklahoma their biggest football loss in school history; that record still stands today. Dean was a member of the Razorback Letterman’s Club, a 2006 inductee into the Coffeyville Community College Football Hall of Fame, a 2014 inductee into the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2019 to the Coffeyville Community College Hall of Champions. Dean was honored by his Coffeyville Track Team in 2003, when they established a scholarship in his name. Since then, the Dean Pryor Scholarship fund has allowed over 126 students the opportunity to attend college and will continue to do so for years to come. In recognition of his contribution to Coffeyville Community College athletic programs, its spring track meet was renamed the Dean Pryor Invitational. Dean is survived by his daughters, Cindy Lamkin and husband Mark of Glendale, AZ, Susan Kjellsen and husband Dan of Mesa, AZ, Nancy Woodward and husband Reid of Waldo, AR; 6 grandchildren, Jennifer Lamkin, Melissa Lamkin, Hannah Lamkin, Richard Kjellsen, Blair Woodward Printz and husband Henry, and Stonewall Woodward. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Marilyn Pryor. Private burial of his ashes, and those of his wife Betty, will be at Frog Level, Columbia County, AR. Those wishing to honor his memory can do so by contributing to his scholarship fund. Donations may be made by check to the Dean Pryor Scholarship, and mailed to Coffeyville Community College Foundation, 400 W 11th, Coffeyville, KS 67337.
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