Unusual two-fer: two interesting funerals today

Harry Styron

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Posts
3,681
Location
Branson, Mo
My cousin Brent found out about 10 days ago that he had advanced metastatic cancer, and he died over the weekend. His funeral was scheduled for this afternoon in a small town near Tulsa. As I made plans to attend, I found out that an old friend, Phillip, had also died a couple of days ago, and his funeral was scheduled for this morning in Tulsa. I decided to attend both and drove three and a half hours to Tulsa yesterday afternoon.

I hadn’t seen Phillip in more than 20 years, and was surprised, due to his alcohol abuse, that he had lived this long. I hoped to reconnect with the people that I hung out with in Tulsa from 1984 to 1992, which included Phillip. Most of these friends were involved in the early years of the renaissance of the north side of downtown Tulsa, where the Cain’s Ballroom and the Brady Theatre were landmarks. Most of the “pioneers” in this part of Tulsa were engaged in creative businesses, such as photography, stagecraft, political consulting, architecture, fine art painting, etc. I was the lawyer for their landlord and also helped them set up their businesses.

Phillip, happily, had found sobriety 20 years ago, and had good relationships with his children, friends, and relatives, as well as those he supported in AA. At his funeral, his closest friends described his talent, generosity and wit. He had left Tulsa in the late 70s and attend Cal Arts. He worked with Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now as assistant cameraman and was still photographer for Peggy Sue Got Married. After he returned to Tulsa in the mid-80s, he was well-known for his still photography and videography for portraits, advertising, public relations and documentaries. It was great to see his grown daughters, his family members and many friends that I had not seen since 1992, a few of whom remembered me. One friend recounted that on the last day of filming of Apocalypse Now, in the Philippines, Phillip remarked about the crew, “Never have so many people been so happy to become unemployed.”

Afterward, my wife and I drove to Pryor, Oklahoma, for Brent’s funeral. Brent was only 58, and had started with the Pryor Police Department when he was 18. He was 6’ 6’’ and often over 300 pounds. He was incredibly funny; after making some crude YouTube videos in the late 90s as “Hugh G. Johnson,” he was offered a contract by CAA or William Morris, I’ve forgotten which. He achieved national recognition for his deadpan interview after a dog left in a running car at a convenience store knocked it out of gear, resulting in the car making some circles and crashed into a car wash. Brent said, “I checked his license and found it in order, but the driver was unable to produce proof of insurance.”

After 29 years of service, ending up as a detective lieutenant, Brent’s unmarked car was rear ended in Tulsa while he was on an undercover assignment. He suffered a severe neck injury and was forced to retire. Thereafter, he continued his service to his community in various ways, teaching marksmanship and firearm safety classes, and serving on the local emergency services board. With his wife and daughter, they became guardians of two toddlers whose birth parents had been unable to care for them due to addictions.

Brent’s funeral was notable, displaying of the breadth of his personality. The family was given a police escort to the county exhibit hall, where the service was held. The service opened with two Cherokee women singing Amazing Grace, a capella, in Cherokee then in English (Brent and I share a Cherokee grandfather). The Cherokee preacher officiating introduced a man to present Brent’s obituary. A large part of the audience were uniformed law enforcement officers. Another large contingent was wearing the colors of their Gunfighters motorcycle club. The obituary covered Brent’s law enforcement career and, primarily after his retirement, his being invited into the local chapter of the Gunfighters. Brent accepted the invitation to join under the condition that his son Blake also be admitted with him, so it would be a father-son deal, apparently the first for the Gunfighters. The Gunfighters accepted Brent’s condition, so that he and Blake could both join. Because of his injury, Brent was permitted to ride a Harley converted to a trike, which was next to the closed casket.

The Cherokee preacher delivered a fairly conventional Christian message. Vince Gill’s song Go High on that Mountain was played. The preacher delivered a blessing in Cherokee. The recessional music started with Freebird, followed by Gimme Two Steps and Highway to Hell.

At the cemetery, the Gunfighters sang, with the assistance of a karaoke machine, You Don’t Have to Call Me Darling, Darling, which is apparently the theme song of the local chapter. The preacher burned some cedar twigs and with an eagle feather spread smoke over the family. We adjourned to Brent’s favorite hangout, the Fat Toad Brewery, where a pizza is named after him.

As we drove home across the east 40 miles of Oklahoma and slice of northwest Arkansas, with a gorgeous sunset, I pondered on the days events, the blessing of seeing my only remaining aunt and uncle who had to bury their son, my many cousins and siblings, the 195-year history of my family in this small area of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. These funerals struck some emotional chords and made me more grateful for friends, family and the lovely earth and sky.
 
Last edited:

ping-ping-clicka

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Posts
9,096
Location
left coast
My cousin Brent found out about 10 days ago that he had advanced metastatic cancer, and he died over the weekend. His funeral was scheduled for this afternoon in a small town near Tulsa. As I made plans to attend, I found out that an old friend, Phillip, had also died a couple of days ago, and his funeral was scheduled for this morning in Tulsa. I decided to attend both and drove three and a half hours to Tulsa yesterday afternoon.

I hadn’t seen Phillip in more than 20 years, and was surprised, due to his alcohol abuse, that he had lived this long. I hoped to reconnect with the people that I hung out with in Tulsa from 1984 to 1992, which included Phillip. Most of these friends were involved in the early years of the renaissance of the north side of downtown Tulsa, where the Cain’s Ballroom and the Brady Theatre were landmarks. Most of the “pioneers” in this part of Tulsa were engaged in creative businesses, such as photography, stagecraft, political consulting, architecture, fine art painting, etc. I was the lawyer for their landlord and also helped them set up their businesses.

Phillip, happily, had found sobriety 20 years ago, and had good relationships with his children, friends, and relatives, as well as those he supported in AA. At his funeral, his closest friends described his talent, generosity and wit. He had left Tulsa in the late 70s and attend Cal Arts. He worked with Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now as assistant cameraman and was still photographer for Peggy Sue Got Married. After he returned to Tulsa in the mid-80s, he was well-known for his still photography and videography for portraits, advertising, public relations and documentaries. It was great to see his grown daughters, his family members and many friends that I had not seen since 1992, a few of which remembered me. One friend recounted that on the last day of filming of Apocalypse Now, in the Philippines, Phillip remarked about the crew, “Never have so many people been so happy to become unemployed.”

Afterward, my wife and I drove to Pryor, Oklahoma, for Brent’s funeral. Brent was only 58, and had started with the Pryor Police Department when he was 18. He was 6’ 6’’ and often over 300 pounds. He was incredibly funny; after making some crude YouTube videos in the late 90s as “Hugh G. Johnson,” he was offered a contract by CAA or William Morris, I’ve forgotten which. He achieved national recognition for his deadpan interview after a dog left in a running car at a convenience store knocked it out of gear, resulting in the car making some circles and crashed into a car wash. Brent said, “I checked his license and found it in order, but the driver was unable to produce proof of insurance.”

After 29 years of service, ending up as a detective lieutenant, Brent’s unmarked car was rear ended in Tulsa while he was on an undercover assignment. He suffered a severe neck injury and was forced to retire. Thereafter, he continued his service to his community in various ways, teaching marksmanship and firearm safety classes, and serving on the local emergency services board. With his wife and daughter, they became guardians of two toddlers whose birth parents had been unable to care for them due to addictions.

Brent’s funeral was notable, displaying of the breadth of his personality. The family was given a police escort to the county exhibit hall, where the service was held. The service opened with two Cherokee women singing Amazing Grace, a capella, in Cherokee then in English (Brent and I share a Cherokee grandfather). The Cherokee preacher officiating introduced a man to present Brent’s obituary. A large part of the audience were uniformed law enforcement officers. Another large contingent was wearing the colors of their Gunfighters motorcycle club. The obituary covered Brent’s law enforcement career and, primarily after his retirement, his being invited into the local chapter of the Gunfighters. Brent accepted the invitation to join under the condition that his son Blake also be admitted with him, so it would be a father-son deal, apparently the first for the Gunfighters. The Gunfighters accepted Brent’s condition, so that he and Blake could both join. Because of his injury, Brent was permitted to ride a Harley converted to a trike, which was next to the closed casket.

The Cherokee preacher delivered a fairly conventional Christian message. Vince Gill’s song Go High on that Mountain was played. The preacher delivered a blessing in Cherokee. The recessional music started with Freebird, followed by Gimme Two Steps and Highway to Hell.

At the cemetery, the Gunfighters sang, with the assistance of a karaoke machine, You Don’t Have to Call Me Darling, Darling, which is apparently the theme song of the local chapter. The preacher burned some cedar twigs and with an eagle feather spread smoke over the family. We adjourned to Brent’s favorite hangout, the Fat Toad Brewery, where a pizza is named after him.

As we drove home across the east 40 miles of Oklahoma and slice of northwest Arkansas, with a gorgeous sunset, I pondered on the days events, the blessing of seeing my only remaining aunt and uncle who had to bury their son, my many cousins and siblings, the 195-year history of my family in this small area of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. These funerals struck some emotional chords and made me more grateful for friends, family and the lovely earth and sky.
Thank you for sharing this moving post. I pursue gratitude on a daily basis for what I have.
 

Tenderfoot

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
May 8, 2014
Posts
1,431
Age
76
Location
Katy, TX
My cousin Brent found out about 10 days ago that he had advanced metastatic cancer, and he died over the weekend. His funeral was scheduled for this afternoon in a small town near Tulsa. As I made plans to attend, I found out that an old friend, Phillip, had also died a couple of days ago, and his funeral was scheduled for this morning in Tulsa. I decided to attend both and drove three and a half hours to Tulsa yesterday afternoon.

I hadn’t seen Phillip in more than 20 years, and was surprised, due to his alcohol abuse, that he had lived this long. I hoped to reconnect with the people that I hung out with in Tulsa from 1984 to 1992, which included Phillip. Most of these friends were involved in the early years of the renaissance of the north side of downtown Tulsa, where the Cain’s Ballroom and the Brady Theatre were landmarks. Most of the “pioneers” in this part of Tulsa were engaged in creative businesses, such as photography, stagecraft, political consulting, architecture, fine art painting, etc. I was the lawyer for their landlord and also helped them set up their businesses.

Phillip, happily, had found sobriety 20 years ago, and had good relationships with his children, friends, and relatives, as well as those he supported in AA. At his funeral, his closest friends described his talent, generosity and wit. He had left Tulsa in the late 70s and attend Cal Arts. He worked with Francis Ford Coppola on Apocalypse Now as assistant cameraman and was still photographer for Peggy Sue Got Married. After he returned to Tulsa in the mid-80s, he was well-known for his still photography and videography for portraits, advertising, public relations and documentaries. It was great to see his grown daughters, his family members and many friends that I had not seen since 1992, a few of which remembered me. One friend recounted that on the last day of filming of Apocalypse Now, in the Philippines, Phillip remarked about the crew, “Never have so many people been so happy to become unemployed.”

Afterward, my wife and I drove to Pryor, Oklahoma, for Brent’s funeral. Brent was only 58, and had started with the Pryor Police Department when he was 18. He was 6’ 6’’ and often over 300 pounds. He was incredibly funny; after making some crude YouTube videos in the late 90s as “Hugh G. Johnson,” he was offered a contract by CAA or William Morris, I’ve forgotten which. He achieved national recognition for his deadpan interview after a dog left in a running car at a convenience store knocked it out of gear, resulting in the car making some circles and crashed into a car wash. Brent said, “I checked his license and found it in order, but the driver was unable to produce proof of insurance.”

After 29 years of service, ending up as a detective lieutenant, Brent’s unmarked car was rear ended in Tulsa while he was on an undercover assignment. He suffered a severe neck injury and was forced to retire. Thereafter, he continued his service to his community in various ways, teaching marksmanship and firearm safety classes, and serving on the local emergency services board. With his wife and daughter, they became guardians of two toddlers whose birth parents had been unable to care for them due to addictions.

Brent’s funeral was notable, displaying of the breadth of his personality. The family was given a police escort to the county exhibit hall, where the service was held. The service opened with two Cherokee women singing Amazing Grace, a capella, in Cherokee then in English (Brent and I share a Cherokee grandfather). The Cherokee preacher officiating introduced a man to present Brent’s obituary. A large part of the audience were uniformed law enforcement officers. Another large contingent was wearing the colors of their Gunfighters motorcycle club. The obituary covered Brent’s law enforcement career and, primarily after his retirement, his being invited into the local chapter of the Gunfighters. Brent accepted the invitation to join under the condition that his son Blake also be admitted with him, so it would be a father-son deal, apparently the first for the Gunfighters. The Gunfighters accepted Brent’s condition, so that he and Blake could both join. Because of his injury, Brent was permitted to ride a Harley converted to a trike, which was next to the closed casket.

The Cherokee preacher delivered a fairly conventional Christian message. Vince Gill’s song Go High on that Mountain was played. The preacher delivered a blessing in Cherokee. The recessional music started with Freebird, followed by Gimme Two Steps and Highway to Hell.

At the cemetery, the Gunfighters sang, with the assistance of a karaoke machine, You Don’t Have to Call Me Darling, Darling, which is apparently the theme song of the local chapter. The preacher burned some cedar twigs and with an eagle feather spread smoke over the family. We adjourned to Brent’s favorite hangout, the Fat Toad Brewery, where a pizza is named after him.

As we drove home across the east 40 miles of Oklahoma and slice of northwest Arkansas, with a gorgeous sunset, I pondered on the days events, the blessing of seeing my only remaining aunt and uncle who had to bury their son, my many cousins and siblings, the 195-year history of my family in this small area of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. These funerals struck some emotional chords and made me more grateful for friends, family and the lovely earth and sky.
A very touching story that was so well told that I felt as if I had also attended the funerals. Your dedication to family and friends is exemplary Mr. Styron!
 

Chester P Squier

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Posts
2,924
Age
74
Location
Covington, LA
It seems that funerals are the only kind of family reunions people have any more. My wife’s older sister died last month a couple of weeks before her 86th birthday.

Their nephew texted my wife “next time let’s have a wedding or a birthday party.”
 

brookdalebill

Tele Axpert
Ad Free Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2009
Posts
125,840
Age
65
Location
Austin, Tx
You’re tougher than me.
I could only do one in a day.
Good on ya’.
I wrestle with going and not going to em’.
I almost always go.
Sometimes I avoid going because I don’t like to catch up with some folks from my past.
Perhaps a character flaw of mine, I know the services are not about me.
Anyways, you are a great, true friend.
 
Last edited:

Harry Styron

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 2, 2011
Posts
3,681
Location
Branson, Mo
You’re tougher than me.
I could only do one in a day.
Good on ya’.
I wrestle with going and not going to em’.
I almost always go.
Sometimes I avoid going because I don’t like to “catch up”
with some folks from my past.
Perhaps a character flaw of mine, I know the services are not about me.
Anyways, you are a great, true friend.
When I told some of my cousins that I had been to a funeral earlier in the day, I said, "I wanted to kill two birds with one stone," which seemed to be very inappropriate and somehow funny at the same time, though it really doesn't make any sense. Anyway, it got a big laugh at the after-party, when everybody was tired of being sad.
 

teletimetx

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Posts
15,225
Location
Frontrangia CO
When I told some of my cousins that I had been to a funeral earlier in the day, I said, "I wanted to kill two birds with one stone," which seemed to be very inappropriate and somehow funny at the same time, though it really doesn't make any sense. Anyway, it got a big laugh at the after-party, when everybody was tired of being sad.

All wonderfully told, Harry. Thanks for posting.

Went to a memorial service a week ago for a long time friend. The bell curve approaches; I suppose there may come a day when a similar doubleheader is scheduled, but I don’t know if I could handle it or even want to try.

I guess it depends.

Sorry.
 




Top