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Harold "Gene" Williams was born March 3, 1921. The third of eight children born to Penn and Ava Bell Williams in Hatfield, Arkansas.
Gene grew up in the Hatfield area and briefly in Turkey, Texas in the 1930's. In the late 30's and early 40's he joined the CCC ( Civilian Conservation Corps.) and was stationed at Jacksonville, AR and at Camp Shady in west central Arkansas.
At Hatfield he met and started a relationship with Violet "Marie" Lahman.
In 1942 he enlisted in the Navy during WWII and was stationed at the Norman Naval Base in Oklahoma as a gunnery instructor.
On October 11, 1942 he was married to Marie and they began their journey through life together. In 1944 their first son, Richard Lee, was born at Norman.
Gene was then to go into the Pacific theatre with the Navy photography squadrons, but was reassigned as the gunnery instructor upon reaching Hilo, Hawaii. Marie and Richard were able to move there and reside with him until he was honorably discharged in 1946. They returned to Hatfield, Arkansas and in 1947 their daughter Karen Beth was born in Mena, Arkansas.
Gene enrolled at Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, OK. in 1947 and graduated with a bachelors degree in agricultural education in 1951.
In 1951 he began teaching agriculture at Helena, OK. In 1953 he was asked and accepted a challenging task with the Point Four Program to help improve agriculture in Ethiopia. He was responsible for the large animal production at the school in Jimma, Ethiopia.
Due to health concerns for Marie after their second son Danny Dean was stillborn, they returned to Helena, OK.
Gene went back to school at OSU and received his Masters degree in Agriculture.
In 1956 they moved to Hugo, OK. where Gene was the Associate County Agent with the Oklahoma Extension Service until 1959. In 1959 they moved to Okemah, OK where he was the county "4H" agent until 1966. In 1966 they moved back to Stillwater and Gene went back to school at OSU and earned a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics.
He and Marie moved to Woodward, OK in 1967 where he started the position of Area Farm Management Specialist with the Extension.
In 1971 he transferred to Ada, OK. where he continued as the Area Agricultural Economist.
Gene retired in 1981 and transitioned into a more relaxed life with Marie. In 1987 they moved once more to Cushing, OK. to be closer to their grandchildren.
Gene became involved in the Lion's Club and National Association of Retired Federal Employees.
After 51 wonderful years together, Marie passed away in 1993.
Gene continued to devote his time and energy to his family and community. In 1997 he suffered a minor stroke and started to take life more leisurely.
His devotion and love for his family and theirs in return brought much enjoyment to his life in these last years. He enjoyed his daily outings to the Cushing Senior Citizens Center and attending the many activities of his great grandchildren.
Gene died April 30, 2010.
He is survived by a brother, David Williams, and two sisters, Alice Miller and Cathy Taylor, his son, Richard Williams, and daughter, Karen Hogrefe and her husband Jim, his granddaughter, Jeannie Sprague and her husband Mark, and grandson, Joe Hogrefe and his wife Missy, his four great grandchildren; Ashleigh Krlin, Jordan Hogrefe, Jared Hogrefe, and Kiah Sprague, and numerous other family members who were all very special to him.
Memorial services will be held at the Big Creek Church of the Brethren on Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2 pm.
This page was updated: Tuesday, 14-Jul-2015 01:49:16 CDT
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