Thomas Garold Murdock obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Thomas Garold Murdock

September 3, 1934 - September 7, 2017

Obituary


Thomas Garold Murdock left this Earth on the morning of September 7, 2017, in Paonia, Colorado. Gary, as family and friends knew him, was born to Lorene and Thomas Murdock in Garden City, Kansas, on September 3, 1934. Following his mother's tragic death from a car accident in 1945, Gary and his father left their home in Southern California and moved often. As an adolescent, Gary eventually settled in Konawa, Oklahoma, with his maternal grandparents, M.C. and Grace Hicks. While in Konawa, Gary met his best friend of more than 60 years, Joe Ray Thomas....

Thomas Garold Murdock left this Earth on the morning of September 7, 2017, in Paonia, Colorado. Gary, as family and friends knew him, was born to Lorene and Thomas Murdock in Garden City, Kansas, on September 3, 1934. Following his mother's tragic death from a car accident in 1945, Gary and his father left their home in Southern California and moved often. As an adolescent, Gary eventually settled in Konawa, Oklahoma, with his maternal grandparents, M.C. and Grace Hicks. While in Konawa, Gary met his best friend of more than 60 years, Joe Ray Thomas. After graduating from Konawa High School in 1952, Gary enrolled in East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where Joe Ray introduced him to his first cousin, Kathryn Beth Russell. The beautiful, smart, and caring young woman immediately caught the attention of Gary, who later called her for a date. The rest is, as they say, history. The two married on May 27, 1955, and built a family with their three children. Professionally, Gary worked for a time as a draftsman for McDonald Douglas in Southern California, but spent the majority of his career in the insurance industry, and even served as the mayor of Mannford, Oklahoma. In his later years, Gary, a gifted artist, revisited his love of art. He took several art classes and enjoyed attending art festivals and activities in Downtown Oklahoma City. Together, Gary and Beth enjoyed traveling and attending Oklahoma Sooner women's basketball games, but most of all they loved spending time with their grandchildren. It is indisputable that Gary's true passion in life was his grandchildren, whom affectionately called him "Papa". There is nothing that Papa wouldn't do for his grandchildren. No amount of distance, time, effort, money, health or work stood in the way of Granny and Papa's relationships with their grandchildren. The pride and love Gary held for his grandchildren often became the focal point of his life. Gary is preceded in death by his wife, Beth (June 6th, 2009). Survived by his sons, Kelly (Lori) of Tecumseh, Oklahoma; Kerry (Joy) of Traverse City, Michigan; daughter, Kim Zepeda of Grand Junction, Colorado; grandsons, Jake Murdock, Chance Turner, Jarret Zepeda, Nic Murdock, Dakota Murdock, Andrew Murdock and Joshua Murdock; granddaughters, Jasmine Hill and Sydnee Ernst; and ten great-grandchildren. Gary's family will celebrate his life in a private ceremony on Thursday, September 14, 2017. Memorial donations may be made in Gary's honor to the Alzheimer's Association, www.alz.org.