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Johnny's Story

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TAHLEQUAH – Services for Johnny R. Sly will be held at Keener Cemetery on Tuesday, June 2, at 1 p.m. with Brother Jerry Henson officiating. Visitation for John will be Monday, June 1, at Reed-Culver Chapel from noon until 7 p.m. Interment will be held at Keener Cemetery. Online condolences for his family may be left at www.reedculver.com. John Sly married Betty Keener on June 27, 1992, at their home in Tahlequah. They have one daughter, Danielle, a special gift from God. John has one son, Billy, who John felt was his best friend and loved him with all his heart. Billy was always there for him on the mountaintops and in the valleys of life. John has two stepsons, Jimmy Hawk and James Keener, who are dearly loved and highly favored for their duty to country and family. Johnny Richard Sly was born on Sept. 21, 1948, in Pryor, the son of Henry Clifford and Marguerite Elizabeth (Hagar) Sly. Johnny passed on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at 7:51 p.m. He was 66 years old. John received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University in history in 1973 and his master’s degree in counseling in 1985. He served in the U.S. Army for six years in the Vietnam Conflict as an ordinance and weapons specialist and was honorably discharged. He worked at Ketchum and Catoosa Public Schools before coming to Hulbert Public Schools in 1985 to teach history, government, drivers education, and coaching baseball, football, and junior high basketball. John had special memories for the years he coached baseball, especially of the boys. Watching them succeed and improve as young athletes was a joy for him. John wished to let people know there was a special spot in his heart for the Hager family, especially his Aunt Dorothy, who was like a second mother to him. He was a member of the Calvary Indian Baptist Church of Tahlequah. He grew in faith and trust in the Lord through Brother Wildcat’s sermons. John is preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his wife, Betty of the home in Tahlequah. He also leaves his son, Billy Sly and wife Marjie of Miami, James Keener of Lost City, Jimmy Hawk of Bixby, and his daughter, Danielle Sly also of the home in Tahlequah. He leaves two brothers, Leon Sly and companion Sherlyn of Miami, Steve Sly and wife Sue of Miami, and one sister, Sherry Sly-Tipton of Miami. His legacy lives on in his nine grandchildren, Caleb Cox, Kyle Sly, Madison Sly, Caden Sly, Elliott Keener, Jamie Keener, Kalahnee Keener, Kami Hawk, and Tyler Hawk. John’s words were: “I can hardly wait for the words, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant.’ I wished more of my life had been dedicated to the one who gave his life for me, and into his hands, I commit myself for the glory of God. Every day, without exception, is a gift from God. It is entrusted to us to use for his glory.” If John could leave one last message, his parting words would be: “Nothing matters in the end but Christ. Live your life for the Redeemer. Age, time, and change, they have marched across my life. Only one life will soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last; justified by faith in Christ Jesus.” Reed-Culver Funeral Home, 117 W. Delaware, 918-456-2551.
Published on  June 2, 2015
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