Johnnie Harlen Keith of Lindsay was born on October 19, 1937 in Alex, Oklahoma to Lewis G. and Frona Belle (Rife) Keith. He passed away on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 in McAlester at the age of 85 years.
John was a 1956 graduate of Lindsay High School. He played basketball and baseball where he made cherished, lifelong friendships with teammates Wayne and Gene Estes, Curtis Hayes, Bill Garrett, and Roundy Layton among others. John played basketball at the University of Tulsa and was offered a scholarship to play at the University of Oklahoma but couldn’t pursue it due to a knee injury.
Looking for something else to hang his hat on he broke out as a rig hand and worked derrick floors with Bill Self, J. D. York, George Mashburn, Loren Miller among others. He ran a rig in the late 50's and early 60's for Shebester, now Shebester Bechtel in Maysville.
In 1961 he was drafted into the Untied States Army, trained in infantry and served in Italy in preparation for the Berlin Conflict. He was honorably discharged, came back to the states and went to work for Cudd Pressure Control. He was honored to have this job as his parents didn’t have such. He took it seriously. Aside from a learned skill set, he thought he was supposed to represent Cudd professionally to the public and did so well. He worked in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Lindsay, and finally moved to McAlester and retired there. He was a fine example.
Survivors include his son, Aaron Vanoni of Lindsay.
Nephew, Danny Rutledge of Lindsay; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Johnnie was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Eldin Keith, Bob Keith, and Nolan Keith; and sisters, Chock Rutledge, Alma Smith, Carol York, and Bo Mills.
Graveside funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm, Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at the Antioch Cemetery. Burial will be under the direction of John W. Williams of Winans Funeral Home, Maysville, Oklahoma. Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.winansfuneralhome.com
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