October 25, 1954 - April 21, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Gary Whitehead was born on October 25, 1954 in Oklahoma City to Merl Gene Whitehead and Eleanor Jean Peckham Whitehead. He attended Putnam City High School, and then graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1976, with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. While at OU, Gary met his wife Denise Wass Whitehead and they became best friends. They married in 1980 and had one son, Andrew Garrett, in 1983. Gary managed a chain of convenience stores in Norman through college, and then went into the oil and gas equipment supply business where he worked for Sterling Supply, Republic Supply, Bovaird, and a number of other companies. For the past 18 years he worked as account manager for Rinker Materials, a concrete pipe manufacturing company; his customers were not just customers, but friends. Gary had many passions. He found golf in junior high, and his entire family took up the sport. He was a scratch golfer at one time, participating in and winning many tournaments. Though he wouldn't ever brag, he had made not one, but two hole in ones in his life - the first at age 14. He played trumpet in the band "MacArthur West" through high school, and had a lifelong love of music. He became an excellent cook and enjoyed grilling out and feeding his friends and family. Through his work he became involved in the Oklahoma Municipal Contractor's Association (OMCA) and was made an honorary lifetime Board Member in 2013. He helped with numerous fund raising activities with the group, organizing golf tournaments and other events to raise money for the organization. The OMCA's primary outreach is the J.D. McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities. He particularly loved the McCarty Christmas party every year, and always joined in taking the kids their gifts. Donning an elf hat and handing out their presents was his favorite part of the holiday season. The most important thing in his life was his family. He was a devoted son, father, husband, brother, uncle, and friend. He was exceptionally proud and excited about his new grandson, even learning to use an iPad so he could show off pictures. Gary is predeceased by his father Gene, and his mother Ellen, who passed away while he was in the hospital. He is survived by his wife Denise; his son Andrew Garrett Whitehead and wife Megan and their son Andrew Walker, OKC; his brother Gene Whitehead, OKC; his nephew Jesse Whitehead and wife Jamie, and their children Reagan and Jack, The Woodlands, TX; and niece Julie Warren and husband Marlin and their son Dalton, Broken Arrow. He will be remembered for his steadfast support of those he loved. He was a rock, a foundation for friends and family alike. Everyone who called him friend knew they could count on him. He leaves a gap in our hearts that will never be filled. Memorial donations may be made to the J.D. McCarty Center, Norman, OK. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 26th, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 5401 N. Brookline, Oklahoma City.
Published in The Oklahoman on Apr. 25, 2014