Funeral services for Lyndell P. Worthen will be 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, at the First Baptist Church with Dr. Alton Fannin officiating. Interment will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Craddock Funeral Home.
Lynn was born Nov. 5, 1920, in Osage County, Ill., to Thomas Worthen and Laura Eunice King Worthen. He was the third child of nine children. He departed this life Dec. 16, 2016, in Ardmore. He attended school in Southern Illinois. His mother passed away when he was 16 and Lynn helped care for his younger brother and four younger sisters. He worked in coal mines to help support his family. At 18, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and was stationed at Isle Royal National Park, Mich. His monthly salary was $25 mailed to his father and $5 for him.
On Dec. 27, 1941, he married the love of his life, Evelyn Knox, in Cape Girardeau, Mo. In Sept. 1942, Lynn entered the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the 13th Armored Division, 46th Tank Battalion. He was stationed in California and Texas. In Jan. 1945, he was shipped to France. His unit fought through Northern France and Germany under General Patton. In May 1945, his unit linked up with the Russian units in Austria, near Hitler’s birth place. He returned to the States in late 1945 and was discharged. His sons, Ronald and Lyndell were born during the time he was in the Army.
After discharge, he worked as a butcher and opened a bakery. He reentered the Army in 1949 and reported to Camp Chaffee, Ark., then transferred to Fort Riley, Kan., where he was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division. There Lynn was promoted to Sergeant First Class, then Master Sergeant. His major assignment was to train, manage and integrate a combat infantry company. One of the first integrated combat infantry companies in the U.S. Army, Lynn taught his men that only three colors mattered: red, white, and blue; that we will live, work, eat and train together. The enemy bullets do not know color. We all bleed red blood. We depend on one another and are responsible for one another. We are all one people. In 1952, his unit was shipped to Korea. Although he was with the Seventh Infantry Division, he was assigned as First Sergeant to C Battery of the 45th Artillery Battalion. Lynn was promoted to Warrant Officer and served 18 months on the front lines of Korea. When he returned to the States, he was honorably discharged and received numerous service ribbons and awards.
Lynn began working for Lerner Sloan Manufacturing Company in Carbondale, Ill. He learned the pants manufacturing business and was transferred to their factory in Forrest City, Ark. In 1963, Lynn became Vice President of Glen Oaks Manufacturing Company and moved to Ardmore. He supervised factories in Marietta, Madill, Elk City, Ringling and Ardmore, Okla., and Crowley, Jennings and Rayne, La. In 1964, Lynn and Evelyn joined First Baptist Church in Ardmore and served as Deacon, a multitude of deacon committees and Sunday School Director. Lynn served on the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University.
Lynn was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Evelyn; one son; his parents; and all of his brothers and sisters.
He is survived by his son, Ronald Worthen and wife, Kathy, of Ardmore; and his son, the Reverend Lyndall Worthen Jr. and wife, Mary, of Conway, Ark.; his grandchildren: Dr. Tamara Worthen Lytkowski and husband, Dr. William M. Lytkowski, Dr. Lyndell Phillip Worthen III and wife, Allison, of Little Rock, Ark., Laura Worthen Lodes and husband, Lance, of Edmond, Robyn Worthen Hunsucker and husband, Louis, of Naperville, Ill., and Tandra P. Worthen of Oklahoma City; great-grandchildren: Lyndell P. Worthen IV, Caroline Worthen, Knox Hunsucker, Parker Hunsucker, Lillian Lodes, Addison Lodes, William J. Lytkowski, Josephine Lytkowski and Michael Lytkowski; his sister-in-law, Bessie Knox of Royalton, Ill.; and numerous nieces and nephews. He also considered Shalayne Blagg and her daughters, Laela and MaKyah as family.
Lynn served the Lord and his country all of his life. He worshiped daily, loved his family, his church, his comrades in arms and all the people he worked with. He was a member of the Lions Club and the American Legion for over 50 years. His favorite sport was baseball and he was a member of the hard core Chicago Cubs fan club since 1933. He said he was grateful he lived long enough to see them win the World Series.
Pallbearers are Dr. Garland Clay, Bill Jobe, Dr. William Lytkowski, Louis Hunsucker, Lance Lodes and Blake Hunt.
Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, Ardmore; the Baptist Home for Girls in Madill or the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Online condolences may be made at www.craddockfuneralhome.com.