Rupert Dean “RD” Choate Jr., age 84, passed away on August 6, 2015, at Ardmore, Okla. Funeral services will be 10 a.m., Monday, August 10, 2015, at Trinity Baptist Church with The Reverend Terry Tolbert and the Reverend Jimmy May officiating. Interment to follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park, Ardmore, Okla.
RD was born on August 29, 1930, in Seminole, Okla., to Rupert Dean Choate, Sr. and Millie Betty (Chancellor) Choate. He was a graduate of Spaulding Schools, Class of 1948.
Living in Seminole County, he was raised on the farm next to the farm of Joy Dean Johnson’s family, who he married on August 16, 1950, in the local Missionary Baptist Church. His wife said he was always a caring and faithful husband through more than 64 years of marriage. His children said his relationship with their mother helped them know what real love was.
RD enlisted on May 8, 1950, in the Oklahoma Army National Guard and served in Korea. He was honorably discharged on March 31, 1952, and enrolled at Murray State College, where he earned his associate’s degree. RD earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Oklahoma A&M in 1955. Soon after, he accepted a position with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Tahlequah, Okla. Following his work, the couple was transferred to Ardmore, Okla., in 1964. After he retired from the BIA in 1983, he worked as a realtor for Century 21, until he retired for a second time. He was known to have an excellent work ethic throughout his working career.
Placing their membership at Trinity Baptist Church in 1964, he served as a dedicated Deacon of the church for more than 40 years. He was also a leader of the Royal Ambassadors and an excellent role model.
He was a devoted father who loved throwing the football and baseball and coaching his children. He spent countless hours on the lake driving the boat for his family and friends who loved to water ski. He also patiently piloted the boat for hours on end, helping his children teach dozens of people to ski. He enjoyed family vacations, camping with his wife and children and family friends. He also enjoyed traveling with his family, taking road trips to the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Yosemite National Forest, San Francisco, and other destinations.
RD was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing and deer hunting. He was an excellent shot and a very successful deer hunter, who would brave the rain, snow, and cold to bring a trophy home and put meat on the table for his family. He played on his church league softball team for several years and was known as a fierce competitor and an excellent pitcher. He loved watching sports and supporting Oklahoma State University.
He will be long remembered by all who knew him as a good man.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Betty Champion and Rosa Rhodes; brothers, Edmond, Raymond, Franklin, and Albert; grandson, Gerrad Mitchell.
RD is survived by his wife of the home, Joy; daughter, Vickey Mitchell, of the home; son, Rickey Choate, and wife, Linda, of Ardmore; daughter, Karen Choate, of the home, and son, Tony Choate, and wife, Stephanie, of Ardmore; grandchildren; Katrina, Jennifer, Sarah, Jamie, Karie, Alexis, and Alicia, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild; brother, Richard Choate, a host of family and friends.
Those serving as pallbearers will be Johnny Patton, Seth Busetti, Justin Ayres, Stephen Conway, Earnest Argo, and Keaton Argo.
A visitation will be held at 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. this evening, August 9, 2015, at Griffin~Hillcrest.
Condolences may be left at www.Griffin~HillcrestFH.com.