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Gordon Moore Stangeland

Thursday, August 18, 2022
Gordon Moore

Gordon Moore Stangeland, longtime resident of Ponca City, Oklahoma, passed away on Thursday, August 11, 2022. Nearly missing the roaring 20’s, Gordon was born May 1, 1929, in his childhood home on Pine St to parents Nels Leonard Stangeland and Renas Wilson Stangeland. He attended Ponca City schools and graduated from Ponca City High School in 1947. As a gifted athlete, Gordon, lettered in football and wrestling, or “wrastling” as he liked to call it, while in high school.

He attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College for two years where he played football and then went on to graduate from Southern Nazarene University in 1951. While at Southern Nazarene he met the love of his life, Thelma Juanita McPherson. They married on August 31, 1951 in El Dorado, Kansas. In that same year Gordon was drafted into the Army, serving two years in the Army Adjutant General Corp in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Their first child, Janice Marie, was born in the Ft. Sill Army Hospital in Lawton, OK. After being discharged from the Army, Gordon enrolled at Oklahoma University where he received his Masters in Business Education.

In 1954, he was hired to teach business at Po Hi. During

his time teaching, Gordon and Thelma had two additional children, Ronald Dean and Geron Lee. As a coach and teacher, Gordon poured himself into his work and into the lives of his students, later being recognized for his outstanding work and leadership by being inducted into the Ponca City Wrestling Hall of Fame for coaching. His love of coaching also led him to start the Po Hi Cross Country Program, leading his team to a State Championship their second year. When asked about coaching cross country, he said he “enjoyed the actual sport of distance running because through it, he can still be involved with competition, a sort of competing with oneself”. He loved how running allowed him to participate while enjoying the outdoors. He felt that it was often easier to measure the true progress of his students through their running than by their classwork.

After thirty-three years of teaching, he retired from Po Hi in 1987, and shortly thereafter began work at the U.S. Postal Service where he worked for 8 years as a rural mail carrier.

After retirement from the Post Office, he and Thelma traveled the US and abroad. Ever the athlete, Gordon remained physically active, and in a super-human feat, participated in Senior Softball Tournaments until age 77.

After sixty-five inspiring years of marriage, his wife Thelma passed away in 2016. He continued in an active, independent life in his country home east of Ponca City where he raised cattle for over 50 years.

Gordon lived his life as an expression of Christ. As an active, long-time member of St. Luke’s Church of the Nazarene he could be seen opening the doors to the church building every Sunday with a smile and a handshake. For those who got the opportunity to be greeted by him you knew he was happy to see you and to welcome you, right where you were, into a place where you could encounter the love of Christ. The same love he encountered, and the one he shared with all those he met.

Gordon Moore Stangeland, who entered this world in his home surrounded by those who loved him was able to depart it in the same. On August 11, at the age of 93, he was surrounded by his loving family in his country home when he passed peacefully into the life hereafter.

The amazing life and legacy of Gordon is carried on through his surviving sons, Ron Stangeland and wife Lindi of Edmond, OK, Geron Stangeland and Becky Stangeland of Ponca City, OK, and son-in-law John Cherry of Ponca City, OK. Gordon had fourteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.

Preceding him home are his wife, Thelma Juanita, his daughter Jan Cherry, brother Alan Stangeland, sisters Ruth Grayson, Shirley Riggs, and Wilma Sanders, and his parents Leonard and Renas Stangeland.

Memorial service was held Monday, August 15, 2022 at St.