Richard E. Smallwood passed away May 13, 2013, in Klamath Falls, Ore.
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He was born June 22, 1924, in Roanoke, Va., to D.H. and Mary Margaret (Muse) Smallwood.
In 1942, at age 17, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was stationed in the Philippines and active during the Philippines Liberation. In 1950, he re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and attended Air Force Supply Tech School in Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado for 10 weeks. Later, he was stationed in Guam and met his wife Myrtle Columbine (Dusty) Spangler, who was also stationed there, and they were married in February 1950 in Wallowa, Ore. They had only one child, a daughter, in 1954. During their military career life, they lived in Rio de Janeiro, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Tainan, Taiwan and McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento, Calif.
Richard's life was always about the military and, even after his retirement in Klamath Falls in 1971, he remained a "military man." In 1990, he and his wife relocated to Coquille, Ore., but after his wife's untimely death, Richard returned to Klamath Falls that same year. In 2002, he moved to Citrus Heights, Calif., where he lived with his daughter until he returned in 2007 to Klamath Falls, where he remained until his death.
Richard and his wife were both active members of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion in Klamath Falls.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dusty, his parents, one brother and two sisters.
He is survived by his daughter Sherry DeBarbieri of Klamath Falls; two grandsons Sandy and wife Erin DeBarbieri and their son Colton Richard, who was named after his great-grandfather, of Leander, Texas; and Jason and wife Stephanie DeBarbieri and their daughter Devon of Klamath Falls; granddaughter Desiree DeBarbieri and her son Husani of Klamath Falls; great-granddaughter Lanaya Shipler of Washington; Michael and Dee DeBarbieri of Klamath Falls; loving caregiver Katherine Patterson, her daughter Brianna, and Eddy as well as Richard's beloved Amazon parrot Sam, who was his sole companion for nearly 20 years.
Richard loved spending time with his three grandchildren when they were young and growing up, especially sharing his wittiness and practical joking personality with them. He will be deeply missed.
A private family and full military service will be at a later date to allow for family members to gather again to honor his memory. Private cremation was at Eternal Hills Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your designated charity in his name.
Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens
4711 Highway 39
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Published in Herald And News on June 4, 2013