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Gary Lee Wood

Thursday, July 25, 2019
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On Monday, July 15, 2019,lifelong Tonkawa resident GaryLee Wood passed away at theage of 83.Born at the Tonkawa Hospitalon February 8, 1936, Gary wasthe son of Earl “Pete” Woodand Lucy Gillespie Wood. Hegrew up on the banks of DeerCreek learning to swim atage three when a cousin, EmmettBoggart, threw his babybottle over the creek bank.He attended Carlisle CountrySchool through his elementaryyears receiving top rank in hisgrade. He later admitted hewas the only one in his grade.Gary continued his secondaryeducation at Tonkawa PublicSchools where he played on the1952 and 1953 Oklahoma StateFootball Championship Teams.Graduating in 1954, Gary enrolledat Northern OklahomaCollege where he joined theMaverick Football team andplayed for the next two yearsbefore graduating with an Associatesof Science degree.In 1957 while enjoying a collegespecial at Mary’s Cafe inTonkawa, a certain beautifulwaitress caught his eye and hisheart. On June 22, 1957, Garymarried Margaret Jo Garciain Newkirk, Oklahoma. Theymade their home in Tonkawa,but soon moved to the farmwhere they would spend 56 oftheir 62 years of marriage. Tothis union came three children,Danny, Gay and Lori.Gary was never afraid ofwork and always had two ormore jobs at one time. He beganhis career in the oil industryworking at Oil Tool, WilliamsRock Bit, then Gruner, beforeestablishing his own businessGary Wood Rock Bit in themid 1970’s. Gary and Jo capitalizedon their ability to workas a team when they purchasedTastee Freeze in 1975. Jo’sTastee Freeze quickly becamethe local hangout and employerof many high school kids. Thetwo together would build WoodlandCamper Park in the late1970’s hosting harvest crewsfrom around the world and“Snowbirds” going south forthe winter. The park remainedopen until 2014 when the propertywas sold to build the PilotTruck Plaza. In addition, Garyand Jo together farmed theirland throughout their marriage.When Gary wasn’t working, heenjoyed family, fishing, cruisingcountry roads, and followingthe Tonkawa Buccaneers.Gary was preceded in deathby his father, Pete, his mother,Lucy, and one daughter,Gay Krizek. He is survived byhis wife, Jo of the home, SonDanny and wife Christi of Yukon,and daughter Lori and husbandKyle, of Tonkawa. GrandchildrenLindsay Alexander,Kolby Simpson, Craig Wood,Jake Coulter, Karlie Sparks,Cory Wood, Russ Coulter, andKramer Simpson, along with10 great-grandchildren.A graveside service will beheld at the Tonkawa IOOFCemetery Friday, July 26, 2019at 9:30 am. The family will receivefriends at the TonkawaFirst United Methodist ChurchFamily Center at 410 EastGrand, Tonkawa, Oklahoma.In lieu of flowers, donationscan be made in Gary’s memoryto The Tonkawa Alumni AssociationPO Box 12, Tonkawa,Oklahoma 74653 or TheTonkawa Fire and AmbulanceService