🇺🇸 Richard Eugene “Gene” Gaither, 86, Kingfisher, went home to be with our Lord on Feb. 4, 2019.
Gene was born Nov. 5, 1932, in Spearman, Texas, to Clyde Oxford and Elizabeth Lois Gaither. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17 (he may have misled the recruitment office of his age). Gene served his country as a U.S. Navy aircraft navigator for three tours of duty in Korea during the conflict.
On Aug. 16, 1963, Gene and Mary Lou Randall were united in marriage and made Kingfisher their home, having three children, Frank, Susan, and Stephen Jon.
Gene worked hard as an iron worker, taxi driver, custom combine cutter, operated the Kingfisher power plant, worked at the water department, was a farmer, and most of his life was in the oilfields as driller, roughneck and pumper (just to name a few).
In his retirement, he worked miscellaneous jobs for the city of Kingfisher as well as owned and operated a ceramic shop with his wife of 55 years.
Gene did what needed to be done to care and provide for his family.
Gene worked hard and he loved hard. Family, friends, God and his country - he was a proud protector.
He was a man of great humility and would do anything to help those in need. He had a loving heart, caring eyes, a devilish smile and a mischievous sense of humor. He will be truly missed by many and Heaven just got a little livelier.
He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and two sisters.
He is survived by his sister, Leveta Duval of Oregon; wife of 55 years, Mary Lou Gaither of Kingfisher; son Frank Gaither and wife Kim of Tulsa, daughter Susan Carlson and husband Paul of Edmond, and son Stephen Jon Gaither, a U.S. Air Force technical sergeant, of New Mexico; grandsons Ben Gaither and fiancé Susanna Salazar of Texas, Ryan Bilyeu, a U.S. Army captain, and his fiancé Nikki Stenerson of North Carolina, and Devin Bilyeu and wife Sabrina of Florida; and great-granddaughter Ryleigh Bilyeu of Florida.
Memorial service was Saturday, Feb. 9, at Sanders Funeral Chapel with Rev. Danny Hendricks, Gene’s nephew, officiating.
Military graveside services followed at Altona Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made in memory of Gene to Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, 825 NE 13th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73104, or www.omrf.org/donate.