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Funeral services for Ross James Gourd Sr. will be held on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at 2 p.m. at Johnson Prairie Baptist Church with Rev. Fox Blackfox and Brother Jason Gann officiating. Wake services for Ross began at Johnson Prairie Church on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, at 5 p.m. until service time the following day. Interment will be held at Agent Cemetery in Moody, Okla. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reedculver.com.

Pallbearers for the family include Jason Gann, Delbert Foreman, Jackie Russell, Robert Scott, Gil Hooper, Guy Soldier, Eric Creekkiller, and Stanley Grass. Honorary pallbearers include Damon Gourd, Cameron Drywater, Isaiah Gourd, David Foreman, William Odle, and Sonny Gourd. Flowergirls for Ross include Sierra Gourd, Taryn Foreman, Braylynn Proctor, Shelby Backward, Erin Deitrick, and Deanna Backward.

Ross James Gourd Sr. was born on July 23, 1949, in Tahlequah, Okla., the son of Leonard R. and Louanna (Dry) Gourd. He joined a family of nine brothers and sisters and attended school at Bethel, and later took basic classes at NSU. In 1969, Ross answered the call of his country and served the US Army until his honorable discharge in 1971. He returned to the Tahlequah area from his duty in Germany, and on Jan. 17, 1977, he married his best friend and the love of his life, Melva Dean Drywater. Together they would raise a family of two sons and three daughters.

Ross was a Christian man, dedicating his life to the spreading of the Gospel, as a minister of the Word. He served his Lord and Savior at Johnson Prairie Baptist Church and anytime he was asked. When he was home, Ross loved to grab the fishing poles and head to the nearest fishing hole. He loved to tease and joke, and always loved to see you smile. He absolutely loved music, playing guitar and piano, and always singing the old gospel favorites. Anyone who knew Ross had heard him sing "You Ain't Seen the Last of Me." He was always up for a game of softball, or working in his garden, just hanging out with his ladies, his name for his chickens! He loved to spread the love of Christ through Gospel singing and teaching the Cherokee Language to the many missionaries that worked in the area.

Ross knew no strangers, and extended a warm welcome to anyone that shook his hand. He was warm and generous, and a friend to many in this community. He never tired of being in the company of his children and grandchildren. He loved them all so very much. His wife, Melva passed from this life in 2014, and Ross continued his work until the Lord called his home on Sept. 27, 2016, in Tahlequah, Okla. Ross was 67 years old.

Ross is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Melva; two sisters, Louise Sewell and Mary Gourd; and his three brothers, Dennis, Roger, and Lloyd Gourd.

Those left to cherish his memory include his loving children, Beth Foreman and husband David, Lawanna Gourd and companion William Odle, James Gourd and wife Stephanie, Ross Gourd Jr., and Haley Gourd, all of Tahlequah, Okla.; and his loved dog, his baby, Phatty. He leaves his sisters and brother, Clara Gann of Moody, Annie Gourd and companion Ross Wilson of Grove, Okla., Mary Sapp and husband John of Kenwood. Okla., Betty Jumper of Tahlequah, Okla., and Edward Gourd and wife Kim of Hulbert, Okla. Ross lives on in his seven grandchildren, Damon Gourd, Cameron Drywater and Jocelyn Gonzales, Isaiah Gourd, all of Tahlequah, Sierra Gourd of Henrietta, Taryn Foreman and Braylynn Proctor both of Tahlequah, and Samuel Powell of Henrietta. There are eight step-grandchildren, Raedawn Foreman, Bryant Odle, Dempsey Odle, Xavier Odle, Shelby Backward, Deanna Backward, Erin Deitrick, and Maleah Wolfe. He also leaves one sister-in-law, Donna Girty and husband Jerry of Tahlequah, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends and loved ones.
Published on September 29, 2016
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