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Randall "Bear" O'Dell Boyce
12 Jul 1953 - 29 May 2014
© Palmer Marler Carberry Funeral Home
Reprinted with permission

Randall “Bear” O’Dell Boyce, was born July 12, 1953 and went to be with Jesus, his Savior on Thursday, May 29, 2014, at the age of 60.

Randall was born at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina in an Army hospital at a whopping weight of 10 lbs. 8 oz. to Vernon and Marie Boyce.

Nine months later when Vernon was discharged from the Army, the Boyce’s returned to the Stillwater/Cushing area where his parents grew up. He was even then the protector of the weaker as he tried often to keep baby brother, Curtis, from frequent mistakes that Marie quickly corrected with a fly swatter. By the time Denise, baby sister, arrived Randall had improved his role as guardian of his siblings. She was tiny and fragile which was a greater challenge than his preferred hunting on their land or fishing at the pond.

Vernon and Marie ran Boyce’s Grocery and Station on 33 Highway and as a kid he pumped gas for pennies a gallon. It was here he was taught to greet the customers and never meet a stranger. He could talk to anyone.

His high school years were filled with the usual teen guy stuff; motorcycles, football and fast cars. What he could not think of on his own, one of many cousins could bring a new idea to the table. Much too big for a fly swatter, Vernon was occasionally called upon with his strength to enforce Marie’s wishes.

In college at Murray State in Tishomingo, OK, he worked undercover narcotics. His long red curly hair helped him blend in easily. Ag and animal science were his major course of study.

That red and white 55 Chevy gave him an advantage with the ladies, he was sure. It was here at Tishomingo that he would acquire the nickname, Bear. He literally filled the doorway and with long hair looked like a big old bear.

After returning from college, Bear changed radically. Wild and wooly were gone and reality bit hard. The job he’d trained for was gone, no more feed lots. A plumber’s helper was much less exciting than undercover narcotics but it paid the bills. Vernon’s son had grown up. No more hiding fly swatters from his mother and having influence over Curtis or Denise. They had their own ideas and paths. Even his childhood buddy, Gene White, had chosen more feminine company.

Coming home, Bear again responded to the Christian values he tried to run from devoted parent influenced him to consider his childhood faith and to rededicate his life to about mattered. Never did he stray very far from lessons learned as a child. Defend the defenseless. Protect the truth and pass on the blessings. He was a champion for those struggling for survival.

Community Action Inc. gave the greatest opportunity to serve others in a truly meaningful way of meeting practical needs. Never was he as happy as when the annual Christmas drives provided toys of needy children or coats for those who did without winter warmth.

Bear will be remembered for those moments of daily kindness, not documented on a resume.

Survivors include Frieta, his wife of 40 plus years; Amber, only surviving daughter and Matt Stursa, son-in-law, rock and the joy of his life; Alex, 3 year old grandson, cartoon buddy; Denise Lowery, only sister and her husband Scott; and numerous nieces, nephew, and cousins.

Bear is preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Marie Boyce and brother, Curtis Boyce.

Instead of flowers that fade quickly; memorial contributions could be made to Stillwater Medical Center, Sunshine fund for those in need or Good Shepard Hospice in Tulsa, OK.

Feel free to wear jeans and join in a graveside service only at Paradise Cemetery off 33 Highway on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 10:00 am.

Family visitation will be at River of Life Church on Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 6 to 8 pm located at 9404 South Perkins Road.

Arrangements have been entrusted under the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home of Stillwater, OK.

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