Services for Willie Ryder will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at the New Life Worship Center, with Apostle Garland Thomas officiating.
Visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 4, at the Reed-Culver Funeral Chapel. Services have been entrusted to Reed-Culver Funeral Home.
Willie Ryder was born in the Zeb Community, on Ryder Mountain, on March 30, 1929, the son of Wilson and Bertha May (Watts) Ryder.
On Dec. 7, 1948, Willie enlisted in the U.S. Army, training men to become medics. He sent many of his students to the Korean front, where they served honorably. Willie attained the rank of seargent and was honorably discharged on May 31, 1951, in Fort Hood, Texas.
On Dec. 21, 1951, Willie married his bride, Ida Marie Tye in Tahlequah. This union was blessed with one daughter, Bertha, and one son, Bill. Willie worked as both a security guard for 25 years at Georgia Pacific, formerly Fort Howard; and as a welder for the National Tank Company of Tulsa. He was a member of the Steel Workers Union of Tulsa.
He enjoyed spending his free time doing a little fishing and hunting. He possessed a green thumb and raised beautiful flowers and vegetables, especially okra, his favorite. He was an avid football fan and enjoyed watching his team, the Dallas Cowboys and OU. His favorite TV show was MASH; he watched the entire series.
Of all the things that brought Willie joy in life, none compared to the joy he had in his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He adored them. He was the kind of man who would give a stranger a smile and a hug, because every man deserved that much, according to Willie.
A Christian by faith, Willie was a member of the New Life Worship Center in Tahlequah. The Lord called Willie home on Jan. 1, 2013 in Tahlequah, with his family by his side. Willie was 83 years old. The world has been a better place for those who called him father, grandpa, and friend.
Willie is preceded in death by his mom, dad, his wife Bertha, one sister Jewell Ryder who died in infancy, and two brothers, Floyd and Claude Ryder.
Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, (918) 456-2551.