“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21 ESV

Our loving dad heard these words on January 31, at the age of 98. Garnell Wilkes Hastings--“Goober” to everyone who knew and loved him — was born June 5, 1921, to Lee and Edith Hastings, in the small town of Headrick, OK. At the age of two, his family moved to a farm northwest of Cache, OK, on the south boundary of the Wichita Mountains Refuge—a place he loved and enshrined in his memory. Raised in the stubborn poverty marked by the Great Depression, under the influence of faithful parents, Goober developed the values of personal responsibility, duty, honor, humility and faith. His first chore as a little boy was to bring in wood chips every evening so that his mom could start the wood stove in the morning. He soon found himself milking cows before daylight and raising hogs after school. Winters found him trapping “skunks, possums and coons” to sell the hides and supplement the family income. Our dad often shared memories of long hours on a threshing crew, with only a team of horses, the marvel of modern farm machinery only a family wish in those days. A tractor, running water, and electricity would come after he left home. And then there is the story of how, during his last year in high school, he was able to purchase the first family radio—he felt great pride in knowing that his hard work could bring help and joy to his family.

Goober was a gifted and passionate athlete—he fashioned his first baseball glove out of a large work glove with a leather palm. He loved tennis, baseball, and during his senior year in high school, he made the All-County Basketball Team. After graduation, he attended Cameron College, participating in the National Youth Administration work-study program to put him through school. It was there that he met the love of his life, Jean, whom he married in the fall of 1942, a loving union that would last for almost 71 years. Only three months after the wedding, Goober bid goodbye to his new bride and joined the Navy, serving as a Seabee in the South Pacific for two and a half years, until the end of World War II.

Settling in Lawton, OK, after the war, Goober became involved in the construction industry. Three children and 25 years later, he started his own successful construction company, honored as the “1987 Oklahoma Builder of the Year” by the Associated General Contractors of America. Goober and Jean were long-time, faithful members of the First Baptist Church of Lawton. After retiring, they spent much of their time volunteering with church building missions throughout the West.

Our father was a teacher of all things; his method was simple—he taught by example and quiet dignity. His character was the foundation of our conscience. Goober was strong in body, in spirit, in commitment, and in generosity. Never letting anyone down, he fulfilled every obligation he undertook. His word was his bond and everyone knew it. But most important of all, Goober knew his reliance was to always be on the Lord. This is the legacy he is leaving our family.

Garnell was preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Edith; his wife, Jean; and his sister, Doylene. Survivors include his sister, Wanda; three children, Linda Tuell (Hank), Karen Hastings, and Michael Hastings (Mariela); five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and one on the way. A graveside service will take place on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 11:00 AM, at Red Lodge, MT, Cemetery. A Memorial service is being planned for this summer. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Baretooth Cupboards or a charity of your choice.

Recommended for you