William Howard Gather was born July 14, 1929 in Roosevelt, Oklahoma to William Bee Gather and Mary Viola Mitchell Gather and went to be with his heavenly Father Saturday, July 10, 2021 at the age of 91 years, 11 months, and 27 days, just a few days shy of his 92nd birthday.
Growing up during the depression years in rural Cooperton/Roosevelt, Oklahoma area, he learned out of necessity to work with many skills in a lot of areas. His lifelong ethic of hard work started at this very early age. He developed at an young age a strong love for fishing and hunting which he was able to enjoy through most of his life.
At the age of 18 he enlisted with his friends in the National Guard at Hobart, Oklahoma in the C Company, 245th Tank Battalion, Oklahoma National Guard 45th Division where he then received training at Camp Polk, Louisiana going to Ft Knox, Kentucky to NCO school and on to Japan where he made Sergeant (with only one black eye). 12 years later when he received an Honorable Discharge, he had achieved the rank of captain after serving active duty in Korea. He continued in the National Guard until 1968 when he got out to spend more time with his wife and family.
In 1952 he met the love of his life, Mary Reba Stills, and they were joined in marriage in August 1953. Together as one in everything they did, they celebrated 67 years of unfailing love and respect for each other and were blessed with two daughters, Vicki Lynn and Rhonda Denice. They lived in Hobart for the first 8 years of marriage during which time he drove for GrayVan Moving lines, and jointly operated with his brothers a full-service gas station.
The family moved to Lawton in 1961 where he sold cars at Phillips Aubrey Chevrolet. He then transitioned to Real Estate working with Bud Cooper at Pioneer Realty. He opened his own company in 1965, Gather Construction, where he continued to be a builder and developer for custom homes, spec homes, commercial properties, and apartments for the next many years. He also owned and operated Artistic Ornamental Iron and then in 1978 purchased Ute Bluff Lodge, South Fork, Colorado and moved to reside there for the next few years. After returning to Oklahoma, he continued with his building and was the General Contractor for the construction of two churches, one in Hobart -Calvary Life Assembly of God, and Oklahoma City -Bethesda Assembly of God. He also designed and assisted in construction projects that enabled the ministry to continue to expand at Open Arms Church in Newbridge, Ireland.
Howard was devoted to his Lord and serving him. He was a longtime member of Calvary Assembly of God, attending over 60 years, and serving as Deacon for many of those years.
His favorite past times were hunting, fishing and Rv'ing covering many miles and enjoying many experiences with his family.
He was proceeded in death by:
Parents: Bee Gather and Viola Gather
Siblings: Infant brother- Walter Harold, and brother Larry Wayne.
Howard leaves behind his loving family:
Wife of the home- Mary Gather
Daughters – Vick Dacus and husband Craig of Newcastle; Rhonda Elmore and husband David of Lawton
Grandchildren – Kristi Robinett and husband Jeff of Norman, Michelle Evans of Oklahoma City; Jamie Connor and husband Kevin of Newcastle; Tanya Thompson and husband Devron of Plano, Texas; Allison Elmore of Lawton
11 Great Grandchildren: Ashlyn & Efren Escobedo, Brandon Robinett, Devin & Ethan Conner, Dawson & Brigham Evans, Kaden & Kaiya Thompson, and Avionna & Anderson Elmore.
3 Great Great Grandchildren: Jackson, Mia & Brooks