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Obituary for James Whitfield

Ponca City Now - July 31, 2018 4:20 pm

James E. Whitfield – Veteran

February 13, 1932 – July 31, 2018

James Whitfield long time Ponca City resident passed away Tuesday morning July 31, 2018. James was born February 13, 1932 in Pleasant Grove, Arkansas to John Franklin and Mary Catherine (Callahan) Whitfield. When James was five years old the family moved to Fairfax, Oklahoma. He attended school in Fairfax, Oklahoma and Gray Horse, Oklahoma.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Friday, August 3, 2018 at the Ranch Drive Baptist in Ponca City with Bro. Randy Bettis of Spruce Avenue Missionary Baptist Church of Bartlesville, Oklahoma officiating. Graveside services will follow at the Hope Chapel in the Odd Fellows Cemetery Ponca City. Grace Memorial Chapel of Ponca City is in charge of the services. Pall bears will be Mike Melichar, Jared Padgett, Anthony Burris, Xavier Burris, Mark Lawler, and Ron Schooley.

James served in the US Army during the Korean War. His basic training was completed at Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii. After combat service in Korean War he was honorably discharged in California. He was a life member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He began working for Continental Oil Company in 1961 in the Building Operations Department and retired from Conoco in 1992 after 31 years of service. James completed training in heat and air condition repair at the Pioneer Area Vo-tech and operated his own air conditioning repair business in Ponca City for many years. He also worked at the Ray Gonterman service stations in Ponca City, drove school bus for Ponca City Schools, worked in the oil fields in New Mexico and Colorado, and worked in airplane manufacturing in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He enjoyed spending time with his family, family vacations, genealogy, classic cars, and reading books on American history. For many years he also enjoyed meeting his Conoco buddies once a week at Turtle’s Donut shop.

James was a long time member of the Ranch Drive Baptist Church in Ponca City. He met Lois Nell Sober while working at Ray Gonterman’s service station. They were married on December 31, 1959 by Bro. Finis O’Neal at the Ranch Drive Baptist Church in Ponca City. They were married 45 years before Lois passed away in August 2005. James married Betty Jo Myers in Eureaka Springs, Arkansas on March 15, 2008. They were married 10 years before Betty passed away in April 2018.

James is survived by his children, Naomi and Mike Melichar of Spring, Texas and William Whitfield of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. His grandchildren Andrea Burris of Ponca City and Jared Padgett of Spring, Texas. And great-grandchildren Anthony, Shayla, and Xavier Burris of Ponca City. He is also survived by his sister Mary Stacey of Darby, Montana and his brother Henry (Coleman) Whitfield of Richmond, Virginia. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wives, two brothers Frank Whitfield and William (Bill) Whitfield, and his sister June Cantley.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Hospice of North Central Oklahoma or a Veterans support group of your choice. Online condolences may be done at www.gracememorialchapel.net