Leo Smallwood was born July 22, 1917 in Nelson, Oklahoma to W.M. and Lydie (Wright) Smallwood, the third of their five children. He passed from his earthly home in Rattan, Oklahoma on May 26, 2018 in Paris, Texas, surrounded by his children and grandchildren who adored him. He left us with 100 years of memories of an engaging, patriotic, hard working and loving father, husband, teacher and friend. Leo grew up in the Cloudy vicinity attending school at East Cloudy and later in Rattan from which he graduated. Mr. Smallwood attended Eastern Oklahoma A & M before accepting a teaching position in a one room school in what is known as Frazier Valley. During the time he was at Frazier Valley, he was drafted into the Army during World War II, serving first at Ft. Sill, and then later in the European theatre. His battalion arrived on Omaha beach six days after the D-Day, and proceeded to fight in the Battle of Hedgerows, the Battle of Saint-Lo and the Battle of the Bulge. Returning to civilian life, he utilized the G.I. bill to attend Southeastern State Teacher’s College, now Southeastern Oklahoma State University where he met his wife Jane who preceded him in death on May 27, 2016 after 68 years of marriage. They were married on November 1, 1947 in Paris, Texas. Leo was an incredible coach, teacher and principal retiring in 1978 from his Alma Mater, Rattan Public Schools. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame, was named a VIM (very important member) of the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association. Additionally, he was named Choctaw Elder of the Year by the Choctaw Nation, and earlier this year, honored on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives as Veteran of the Week, the only Choctaw so honored. Most importantly however he was “daddy” to six grateful children who survive him and “Grandad” by 12 grandchildren and “G-Dad” by 10 great-grandchildren. Leo is survived by his children Stephen Smallwood of the home in Rattan, Nancy Smallwood Rose and husband Curtis of Rattan; Eddie Smallwood and his wife Vicky of Venus, Texas; Gayle Smallwood Johnson and her husband Rick of Duke, Oklahoma; Mark Smallwood and his wife Stephanie of Ardmore, Oklahoma and Charles (Dusty) Smallwood and his wife Karen of Clayton, Oklahoma. His grandchildren who survive him and adored him are Missy Rose Kropp (Paul) of Oolagah, Oklahoma; Kurt Rose of Glenpool, Oklahoma; Megan Smallwood Gross (Randy) of Cleburne, Texas; Spencer Smallwood, Venus, Texas; Wade Smallwood, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Sloan Smallwood (Kim) Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Also, Ryan Johnson, Oklahoma City, and Rhet Johnson (Rashell) of Duke, Oklahoma; Ty Smallwood (Morgan) Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Tara Jo Smallwood, of Ardmore Oklahoma and Sara Jane Smallwood Cocke (Adam) Norman, Oklahoma and Blair Smallwood of Clayton survive him. Great-grandchildren who cherished their great grandfather are Carson and Kennedy Kropp of Oolagah, Oklahoma, Ridge and Reid Rose of Glenpool, Oklahoma; Brendan and Campbell Gross of Cleburne, Texas and Hayes Smallwood of Broken Arrow and Reese, Rhen and Jon Ross Johnson of Duke, Oklahoma. Teresa Hobbs Ross and Charity Billy and her husband Sharkey cared for him as if he was their own and he loved them deeply. He called Teresa his “Big Girl.” Mr. Smallwood also relied on Liz Cogburn and Claudine Watts for their assistance and friendship. He is also survived by William Smallwood III, (Billy), Gary Smallwood (Jan), Peggy Smallwood Lawless (Larry), Glenna Clayborn (Norman), Bruce Akard (Mary Jo), Bill Jackson Jr. (Nina), Marsha Jackson Hutson (Stace), Cindy Jackson Rahal, Julie Akard Jack and Jay Herbert Akard (Micki) nephews, and nieces who called him “Uncle Leo.” He was preceded in death by his parents, Uncle Billy and Aunt Lydie Smallwood, sister Mary Lena Smallwood Hester, and brothers William Smallwood, Roy Smallwood and Gilbert Smallwood. Leo loved hunting and fishing, feeding his cattle and all sports, except soccer and hockey which he didn't understand! His and Jane’s home was open to kids twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, some of whom are here today. He never hesitated to take a kid home after a ballgame to High Hill, Cloudy, or put them up on a sofa at his house. His students and players called him Coach and loved and respected him.
Leo Smallwood was a lifetime Ram. He was devoted to Rattan School and intensely proud of the success of the athletic teams, the academic teams and the agricultural program. He looked forward to the day when new facilities would be funded for the children and the community. His family requests that in lieu of flowers that contributions be made in his memory to the Rattan Public School Building Fund, C/O Shari Pillow, Superintendent, P.O. Box 44, Rattan, OK 74562
Pallbearers will be his twelve grandchildren. Honorary Pallbearers are members of the Oklahoma Coaches Hall of Fame, Alan Simpson, Wayne Cobb, Gene Davis, Gene Robbins, Bubba Tidwell and Steve Hudson
Honorary Couples are Johnnie and Larry Morgan, Bill and Cheryl Hedge, Arvela and Johnny Courtwright, Rob and Elaine Smith, Mike and Brenda Wood, Hugh and Carolyn Pool, Chris and Vicky Gibbs, and Chris and Sheila Brown.
Pianist will be Bruce Frazier, vocalists will be Ramona Reed Blair, Karen Smallwood, and Kristen Hedge.
Funeral Services will be held Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 2 PM in the Rattan Gymnasium with internment to follow at Rattan Cemetery. Officiating the service will be Shawn Robertson and Brett Miller.
Family Night will be held Tuesday, May 29, 2018, from 6 pm - 8pm at the Rattan First Baptist Church.