Harry (Coach) Dodd was born to Harry and Margaret Wicker Dodd on Aug. 19, 1931, at Oklahoma City. He departed this life on Aug. 6, 2016, surrounded by his loving family, after a courageous battle with Alzheimers. Being a child of the depression, his family moved several times through Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma following the oil fields. Wanting to play football and be part of a team, also a gift and passion for woodworking, he was allowed to move to Ardmore and live with his aunt to attend school, graduating in 1950 from Ardmore High School.
Harry was always working, while working a summer job at the Tivoli Theatre he met and later married the love of his life, LaJuana Ruth Lewis, who only worked on Saturdays selling tickets. They were married at the First Methodist Church Nov. 24, 1950. He had a strong sense of responsibility and love for his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife and children, daughter, Deborah Dodd Gissler and husband, Greg, and son, Daniel Lewis Dodd; grandson, Dylan Brock and wife, Heather; one great--granddaughter, Isabella Rose Brock; several cousins; and a multitude of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Jack and James Edward; and granddaughter, Eden Caroline Dodd.
He attended Southeastern State University on an athletic scholarship and received a B.S. degree with a double major in Industrial Arts and P. E. in 1954, making the President’s Honor Roll his senior year, while working every hour he could at the Durant Lumber Company.
His first coaching job was at Ardmore High School where he coached football, track and was given a reference book and told “this year you have to coach baseball” and he did. He taught woodworking, drafting, architectural drafting and welding.
After coaching in Ardmore, he accepted a job in Hobbs, N. M., from there he moved to Midland, Texas, where he coached and taught until his retirement in 1990. He and LaJuana missed the green fields, the mountains of home and retired back to Ardmore.
Harry was a perfectionist in everything he did, master builder, an artist, collector and member of the First United Methodist Church, joining when he was 12 years old.
After drawing the plans and building their dream home, he was ready to devote the rest of his life to his love of missions, working at the Methodist Cross Point Camp, often saying “I feel at peace here as soon as I cross the Cattle Guard,” and spent countless hours building and updating the facility. Serving in Rio Bravo, Mexico, 11 times to build casitas, Dulac, La., after Hurricane Katrina, helping re-build a school.
His love for building model vintage airplanes was begun when just a boy and continued throughout his life. His collection is a glimpse into the period during World War II and before.
Harry loved history, especially collecting bricks, of which he had hundreds, and enlisted all of his friends to be on the lookout for that “special one,” each brick was researched and cataloged.
His honors, just to mention a few, were many including: chosen on the Ardmore High School Mid-century football team in 1950, outstanding Industrial Arts major in 1954, Deans Honor Roll, Presidents Honor Roll, Outstanding Industrial Arts Teacher in the state of Texas in 1986. His career as a coach and teacher was exemplary, he believed in studying, hard work, and honest endeavor.
Memorials may be made to Cross Timbers Hospice, Mission Fund at the First United Methodist Church or Cross Point Camp.
Memorial services will be at the First United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. Thursday officiated by the Rev. Dan Patman. Cremation under the direction of Craddock Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to craddockfuneralhome.com.