Ray Gattenby, 85, of McAlester, died Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, at his home from cancer.
A Celebration of Life will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 at Abundant Life Church with Pastor Larry Domerese and the Rev. Jerry Clark, of Chelsea, officiating.
Born Dec. 15, 1927, on the family farm on Buffalo Mountain, he was the son of JG and Lucy (Riley) Gattenby. He was the first in his family to complete high school.
He enlisted in the United States Army in 1946 after graduating from rural Weathers School. He was stationed in Japan during his time in the army.
He attended Eastern Oklahoma State College and graduated from Southeastern State College in 1951.
He married Marguerite Strange in September 1954 and she preceded him in death in 1980. He worked for Department of Human Services for 16 years, starting in Okmulgee, serving as county administrator of Harper County (Buffalo) and Pushmataha County (Antlers) before joining the state office in Oklahoma City where he transferred to child welfare division.
He obtained his master in social work from the University of Oklahoma in 1968. He and his family moved to the McAlester area in 1969, where he worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, first as a counselor then as vice principal at Jones Academy from 1971 to 1985. He completed his professional career as a caseworker at Enid State School in 1988.
He married Brosha Edwards on Sept. 2, 1984. He was a hospital volunteer for move than 15 years until he became ill.
He was an avid bowler and valued the friendships he made while league bowling. He loved his family and cared for his favorite yellow cat. He enjoyed watching the birds eating from the feeders. As a Gattenby, he played dominoes and enjoyed hearing his brothers play stringed instruments.
He attended Decoration Day at Ash Creek Cemetery every year for decades and loved to tell stories of the old-times.
He was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1098 of McAlester.
He had attended Abundant Life Church for the last three years.
Survivors include his wife, Brosha, of the home; children, Lynda and Dr. Phill Jones, of Tulsa, George and Diane Gattenby, of Oklahoma City, Dr. Noel and Debbie Gattenby, of Tulsa, and Janet and George Gooch, of Broken Arrow; grandchildren, Tony, Will, Mattie, Andrea and Becky; great-grandchildren, Jessi and Maddi; brothers, Dee Gattenby, of Muskogee, and Olen Gattenby, Terrell, Texas, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Abundant Life Church, building projects, 221 West Monroe, McAlester, OK, 74501.