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April 5, 2012

Obituary: Johnnie Doyle Howerton

Johnnie Doyle Howerton was born Dec. 30, 1920 in Noel, Mo. to John Wesley and Cora Catherine (Oakes) Howerton. He died Sunday, in Tulsa.

Funeral services are

2 p.m. Thursday, in

the Cookson United Methodist Church in Cookson. Interment will follow in the Cookson-Proctor Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of

Hart Funeral Home, Tahlequah.

Howerton married Gwen Ellen Powers on Feb. 24, 1942 in Lanagan, Mo. To this union four children were born. He embraced life, playing basketball and baseball throughout his high school days, hunting and fishing and watching sports. He was proud that he had an opportunity to try out for a major league baseball team after graduating from high school, but broke his arm the day before the try-outs and never got another chance.

He enlisted in the Army in 1942 and proudly served his country during World War II in the South Pacific with the First Cavalry Division, 44th Tank Battalion. He was a member of General MacArthur's Flying Column that liberated 3,700 internees at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila on

Feb. 3 1945. He served in New Guinea, Leyete, Luzon, and the Philippines. He drove a gasoline truck to the front lines.

Howerton returned from the Army in 1945 and with the help of the GI Bill began training as a meat cutter with the Kroger grocery company. His career was in the grocery business for over 30 years. He was a meat cutter, a grocery store owner, a grocery store manager and a supervisor for IGA and Fleming Foods. He retired in 1982 and launched a new career as a full-time fisherman. He enjoyed this second career more than the first. He enjoyed hundreds of hours of fishing the waters of Lake Tenkiller and enjoying his home at Cookson.

He was a member and served as a Deacon in the Cookson United Methodist Church, was instrumental in the development of the Tenkiller Area Community Organization and the TACO building, the fire department, and worked on Cookson Jubilees for the development of the community. He and his wife moved to Broken Arrow, in 2002. In June of 2011, Howerton was honored by the Oklahoma Honor Flight Foundation and treated to a trip to Washington, D.C. to see the World War II Monument. Howerton attended the Broken Arrow Adult Day Center for four years. He enjoyed going there and the people and games. In September 2011 he moved to Saint Simeons Episcopal Home in Tulsa. He enjoyed it there because of the staff, not to mention the good food. During his 91 years of life, Howerton lived in Noel, Mo., Joplin, Mo., Lamar, Mo., Pryor, Ft. Smith, Ark., Cookson, Broken Arrow, and Tulsa.

Howerton was preceded in death by his wife and parents; son, Frankie Gene Howerton; daughter, Sandra Lea Ellison; three brothers, Ozro, Charlie, and Claudie Howerton; two sisters, Mary Louise Miller and Virginia Perkins.

He is survived by daughters Donna Kay Short of Broken Arrow, and Steva Ann Guthrie and husband John of Alma, Ark.; seven grandchildren, Johnny Ellison of Cookson, Billy Ellison of Lincoln, Ark., Tris Chew of Tahlequah, Robert Short of Broken Arrow, Rian Short of Broken Arrow, Robin Wood of Van Buren, Ark., Erin Mata of Alma, Ark.; 24 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; many nieces nephews, cousins; and a host of friends and loved ones.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made  to the Saint Simeon’s Episcopal Home 3701 N. Cincinnati Tulsa, OK 74106 or the Alzheimer’s Association Oklahoma Chapter 2448 E. 81st St. Ste. 3000 Tulsa, OK 74137.

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