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Richard Conrad

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Our brother Richard Conrad entered into the Lord’s promised rest on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.  His passing came as the result of stage-4 cancer which Richard fought hard for several months.  Even though we will miss Richard greatly, we know that he has entered into “the joy of His Lord!”  He is now experiencing things in a place that is beyond our imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9).  Richard was a superb Christian example.  Husband, father, grandfather, educator, and friend, he provided strength and wisdom to all who were privileged to know him.

Ponca City News, February 27, 2015

          At an early age, he was given the nickname “Tally Ho” by a childhood friend. To this day, friends from Tahlequah and Moody still use this term of endearment. Richard received his early education in Moody. He continued his education at Tahlequah High School where he graduated in 1960. He pursued his love for learning at Northeastern State University by earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education (1964) and later a Master’s Degree in Administration from Oklahoma State University. Mr. Conrad’s career in education spanned 27 years as a teacher, a coach, and a principal for Shidler Public Schools. He also was an elementary principal in Yale for one year.

In 1965, Richard met a local hairdresser named Billie Gayle Smith. They fell in love and were married April 15, 1966. Later, the couple had three children, Leah, Lance, and Kimberlee. Richard was proud to be a veteran of the Armed forces. He was stationed at Fort Polk, La., for basic training. He served in the United States Army from 1966-1968 in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division. He was a decorated officer with many awards: Vietnam Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Sharp Shooter Rifle M-14. After retiring from education, he worked for Hughes Lumber Company in Ponca City for 10 years.

Richard was a proud member of the Cherokee Nation. He enjoyed attending the annual Cherokee National Holiday each Labor Day in Tahlequah with his family. This was a fun time for the kids, grandkids, and cousins to join as one family to enjoy the festivities of the holiday. Every year the entire family stayed together at Flint Ridge Resort and held the famous Conrad Olympics. Over the three-day weekend, all family members enjoyed playing basketball, tennis, softball, and swimming. Then they traveled to the pow-wow to watch the dancers, listen to the singing, admire the arts and crafts, and sample Indian tacos and meat pies.

His hobbies included woodworking, gardening, visiting friends in nursing homes, and helping other people. He loved attending sporting events to support his students. Richard also enjoyed eagle watching, collecting various items, and taking walks with his beloved companion, Elvis the dachshund.

He was a well-respected member of the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ in Ponca City. He also was a member of the American Legion, D.A.V. and V.F.W.

Richard Conrad is survived by wife Gayle, of the home; daughter Leah and husband Bill Long of Shidler; son Lance and wife Marcie Conrad of Fort Worth, Texas; daughter, Kimberlee Conrad of Norman; grandchildren, Devin, Dominic, Christian, and Cameron Conrad; his siblings, Jim Conrad of Coarsegold, Calif., Elouise Ogle of Tahlequah, Deloris Rucker of Miami, and Robert Conrad of Midwest City; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family and friends.

The Conrad family would like to thank everyone for the loving visits, cards, and prayers over the past several months. They also want to extend their gratitude to the nurses, doctors, and ambulance crew for their continuous care.

Casket bearers are Devin Conrad, Dominic Conrad, Christian Conrad, Cameron Conrad, Ralph Earl Conrad and Kevin Ogle.   Honorary casket bearers are Dean Crane, Butch Harmon, Keith Chesser, David Howell, Todd Rowe, Matt Holland and Bill Long.

Memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Conrad’s name to Hope Harbor Children’s Home and Family Ministries, P.O. Box 1047, Claremore, OK 74018

Funeral services were scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, February 28, 2015 in the Shidler High School Auditorium with Don Huddleston of the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ, Ponca City, presiding.  Interment followed at 4 p.m. in the Greenleaf Cemetary West of Tahlequah.  Arrangements were under the direction of Grace Memorial Chapel, of Ponca City.