John's Story

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PARK HILL – Funeral services for John Albert (Jack) Girdner, 79, of Tahlequah, were held at 2 p.m., Monday, May 11, at the First Presbyterian Church. Visitation was held Saturday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, May 10, from 1 to 6 p.m. Officiating was Rev. Jan Condren. Mark Manship, Todd Mutzig, Veraman Davis, Dick Turnbull, Dave Kronkhite, and Al Herrin served as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Arlie Manship, Phil Baker, Jim Chappell, George Morgan, Jack Miller and Al Mutzig. Interment followed in the Ross Cemetery, Park Hill, under the care of Green Country Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at tahlequahfuneral.com. John Albert Girdner was born Feb. 16, 1936, in Park Hill, to Steve and Maude (Jones) Girdner. He passed away on May 8, 2015, in Tulsa. Jack, as he was better known by grew up in Park Hill. He attended Owen Elementary School, Tahlequah High School and Northeastern State College. Jack met Lillie Tarkington in 1954, while working in a grocery store, and they married on Aug. 28, 1954. They had shared 51 years of marriage at the time of Lillie’s passing on June 26, 2006. Their family began growing in 1955, with the birth of their only daughter, Beth. They would then add two sons, Mike in 1959 and Bob in 1961. After the loss of his wife, Jack met Marilyn Workman in November of 2006. On Nov. 11, 2007, they were married. Marilyn brought two children into this union, Ricky and Amanda. Jack held various jobs in his earlier years, working in a grocery store, lumber yard, carpenter’s apprentice, a high school educator at Henryetta and Tahlequah, coaching wrestling and football at Tahlequah. Jack also started and ran Girdner Construction from 1978 to 1999, turning the company over to his son Bob. From 1999 to the present, he was the owner and manager of Woodhaven Apartments. In his lifetime he was active in several churches, attending Park Hill Presbyterian Church as a youth he was baptized there in 1948. He was a member of Henryetta First Baptist Church from 1963-1966. Jack held several positions while attending Tahlequah First Church: he was the junior high youth sponsor, was on the Board of Deacons, and spent two terms as an elder. Jack was active in many organizations including the Lions Club in Henryetta; OEA and Cherokee County Education Association, serving as president of the County Unit for a year; the Tahlequah Classroom Teachers Association; Oklahoma Vocational Association; National Association of Technical & Industrial Teachers, president for one year; Tahlequah City Council from 1985 to 1989; and Tahlequah Hospital Board of Trustee’s from 1981–1985 and again in 1989–1992. Jack is predeceased by his parents; sister, Pauline Girdner; brother, Tom Girdner; and first wife, Lillie. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn of the home; daughter, Beth Nichols, and husband Mike ; two sons, Mike Girdner and his wife Karen, and Bob Girdner and his wife Judy; his grandchildren, Jessica and husband James Macher, Clay, Paige, Danielle and husband, Kenny Comer, Stephanie and Marisa; five step-grandchildren; and one great-grandson, Bryson. Jack’s legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren which he was so proud of. He also hoped that during his 16 years as an educator that he was a good influence and role model to his students and was thankful for being blessed with so many good friends. Donations may be made to the Jack Girdner Memorial Fund at the First Presbyterian Church in Tahlequah.
Published on  May 11, 2015
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