Benny “Max” Dye, 94, and a life-long resident of Konawa, Okla., passed away December 21, 2022 at Purcell Municipal Hospital in Purcell, Okla.
Max was born October 12, 1928, in Konawa to Ambrose Worley and Lula Mae (Scott) Dye.
He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Music Education from East Central University in Ada, Okla. He taught vocal and instrumental music at Konawa Public Schools for seven years. In addition, he served as choir director of the Konawa United Methodist Church for 45 years, and was a soloist for numerous funerals in the surrounding area. He had a profound love of music with which he enjoyed teaching to others and passing down to his children and grandchildren.
Max served as District 1 Seminole County Commissioner for 20 years and was board chairman for most of those years. He was most proud of his work in helping to enact laws that benefit county government.
Max served on Governor Boren’s Local Government Task Force; the Central Oklahoma Economic Development District Board of Directors (where he served as chairman); the Board of Directors of Oklahoma Association of Regional Councils; Governor Nigh’s Indigent Health Care Task Force; Lt. Governor Spencer Bernard’s “Keep Oklahoma Beautiful Committee” (Associate Director); the Board of Directors of the State Association of County Commissioners; Oklahoma State Health Systems Agency Sub-Area Advisory Council IV; the Board of Directors of Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma; the Board of Directors of Redland Community Action (served as chairman for several years) and the Eldercare Advisory Council of Seminole County.
He was appointed by Governor Nigh and reappointed by Governor Bellmon to serve on the Oklahoma State Health Planning Commission Advisory Board. He was also a member of the Konawa National Guard Armory Board, Konawa Lions Club and the Konawa Chamber of Commerce. Max was instrumental in the development and building of the Konawa Community Health Center and the implementation of The Physician’s Manpower Act allowing access to rural healthcare for Konawa citizens. He served as chairman of the Konawa Community Health Center Board for three years and was a member for 10 years.
Max also served as Konawa City Manager from 1994 to 2004. During his tenure as City Manager, he was responsible for acquiring multiple grants which allowed for new city buildings and other city improvement projects including a new fire station, two new industrial buildings, Konawa Lake boat ramp, new water wells and the resurfacing of all city streets, and many others. Max proudly served on the County Board of Health for 53 years and was chairman for 50 of those years. He just recently retired in 2020.
Max was preceded in death by his parents, Ambrose and Lula Mae Dye; two sisters, Colledith Mae Blalock and Rosanne Huckleberry; and four brothers, Worley, Bill, Bob and Ted Dye.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Marguerite Dye of the home; three sons, Bryan Dye and wife, Jan, of Purcell, Eric Dye and wife, Sandy, of Konawa and Damon Dye and wife, Liz, of Durant, Okla.; one daughter, Jana Tarpley and husband, Jon, of Texarkana, Ark.; 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Max was not only a loving husband, father, Papa and dedicated public servant but a devoted farmer/rancher as well. He continued farming up until his death at the age of 94 and most recently received the Konawa Conservation District’s “2022 Cooperator of the Year Award” for which he was extremely proud. His most loved quote was that of Paul Harvey: “On the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said ‘I need a caretaker.’ So God made a Farmer.”
A private memorial, officiated by Rev. Michael Dye, was held in Konawa at Swearingen Funeral Home on December 23, 2022, followed by interment at Konawa Memorial Cemetery. Casket Bearers were Colby Dye, Brendan Dye, Preston Dye, Robin Floyd, Mason Dye, Landyn Dye and Cameron Tarpley.