Gary Lynn Woodruff

July 4, 1950 - January 20, 2019
Sign Guestbook


The first of three children born to Melvin and Mary Fern Woodruff, Gary Lynn Woodruff was born Tuesday July 4th, 1950 in Elk City, Oklahoma. He left this world to enter his heavenly home Sunday January 20th, 2019 while on a bucket list trip with his wife Leslie to Australia and New Zealand. He died suddenly from a cardiac aneurysm at the age of 68.

Gary grew up on various farms in Cowden, Colony and Alfalfa. He helped with operations of the Woodruff family farm. He had two younger siblings, brother Alvin and sister Marita. When he wasn’t working on the dairy farm or attending school, Gary spent his free time at his Uncle Delbert Richey‘s gas station in nearby Cowden. They spent hours together working on cars, drinking soda pop, and discussing crops. He cherished his time with his Uncle. Farming was a constant enjoyment throughout his entire lifetime. Along with his father Melvin and family friends, Jim Shaw and Dick Phelps, he raised cattle and worked crops ranging from cotton and wheat to peanuts and soybeans. Gary attended school in Alfalfa until its closure at the conclusion of his sophomore year. He transferred to Carnegie High School where he graduated with the infamous class of ‘68. It was there where he met the love of his life and future bride, Leslie Johnson.

Gary married Leslie on August 21st, 1971 in the Carnegie First Baptist Church after they had dated for four years. They both finished their college degrees at Oklahoma State University. He accepted a position as quality supervisor at Dayton Tire Company and remained there until they made the decision to return to Carnegie in 1975 to help Leslie’s father operate the Carnegie Telephone Company after the death of her mother. A few years later they were joined by Leslie’s brother Lyn and wife Terri. Together they were the 4th generation of the James A. Wright family to own and operate the local telephone company. It has remained in the family for 98 years. At the time of his death Gary was President and CEO of the Carnegie Telephone Company, a position previously held by his brother-in-law and dearest friend Lyn. As a member of several state and national telecommunication organizations Gary looked forward to attending those meetings and reconnecting with associates he’d known for many years. Gary and Leslie were blessed with three children: Stefannye Lynn in 1975, Todd Robert in 1979 and Angela Deann, in 1983.

He loved to travel, especially on trips with his family. He was able to learn about culture in Peru and experience Machu Picchu, explore the Galapagos Islands, view and interact with giant whales on his many trips to Hawaii and witness the beauty of Alaska. He looked forward to escaping the cold weather every winter, hiding out in Key West, Florida and cruising the Caribbean. He had traveled through the original Panama Canal and had planned to return soon to see the new, larger locks. Most recently, he toured Sydney, Australia where he saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and had just begun a cruise to New Zealand. Gary developed a passion for golfing in college. He was able to meet some of the PGA greats like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Raymond Floyd. He attended PGA tournaments with family and friends. He looked forward to competing in the Oklahoma Telephone Association scramble every summer.

At the age of 51 Gary made a life changing profession of faith and was baptized shortly after. He was a dedicated member of First Baptist Church in Carnegie, where he was a member of Eldon Unruh’s Sunday School class.

In April 2018 Gary was diagnosed with lung cancer. His treatments at M.D. Anderson were effective and he was tolerating the side-effects quite well. His CT and PET scans taken on the day before he and Leslie began their New Zealand trip indicated “N.E.D” (no evidence of disease). He knew the protocol would be to continue his treatments, but was told by the doctors that he was in the best possible position to win his battle over the disease.

Gary is preceded in death by his father Melvin Francis Woodruff, his father-in-law Wesley Robert Johnson, and his mother in law Fannye Virginia Johnson. Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Leslie, his son, Todd Woodruff and wife, Christine, of Oklahoma City, daughters Stefannye Prange and husband Tye, of Leander, Texas, and Angela Hanes and husband, Ryan, of Round Rock, Texas, six grandchildren who were the absolute light of his life: Lilyeanne, Pierce, Grant and Faith Prange and Oliver and Elliot Hanes, his mother Mary Fern Woodruff, of Corn, his brother Alvin Woodruff and wife Anita of Watonga, his sister Marita McKee and husband Ronnie of Cordell and a host of other extended family. He will be laid to rest in the Carnegie Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials in Gary's name to the First Baptist Church in Carnegie, Oklahoma or to the Gideon's International.

Funeral Service: Thursday, January 31, 2019, 2:00 PM, Carnegie First Baptist Church

Viewing: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Ray & Martha's Funeral Home, Carnegie, Oklahoma
Interment: Carnegie Cemetery, Carnegie, Oklahoma

Under the direction of Ray & Martha's Funeral Home, Carnegie, Oklahoma

Service Information

Date: January 29, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Date: January 30, 2019
Time: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Date: January 31, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm
Date: January 31, 2019

Click here to sign the guestbook

Sharon Wilson
Carnegie, OK
I want to express my sincere condolences to the entire Woodruff Family; Leslie & Family, Alvin & Family, Maritta & Family. Gary was such genuine, friendly, & considerate man & part of the Carnegie community. He will truly be missed. I would meet him on the road to work & he would always wave. If I saw him on the street or in the telephone office he would always speak & ask how my family & I were. A very true hearted Christian friend. My heart TrueType goes out to the family, a wonderful man.
Jennie Manees
Little Rock, AR, AR
Words are never enough when the loss is great.  The only comfort is that you will see Gary again in eternity forever.  May the Lord of peace hold you in His Hand and speak words of love and comfort to you and your children as you move through the days ahead.
Mike Dawes
Trophy Club, TX
Sincere condolences to the family.  He graduated with my sister and my dad John Dawes especially loved the Woodruff boys.
Ray Hackney
Piedminty, OK
Will never forget courtesy and friendship extended by Gary the first week Martha and I were in business in Carnegie, 1984. We extend our sympathy and condolence to Leslie and family.
Stephanie Salazar Anderson
Sending lots of love and prayers to Angela and family. He was one of the nicest men ive ever met, going to miss seeing him at the theatre @ 6pm getting his evening show coke fix. May he rest in peace and may God comfort yall at this time.
Our thoughts and prayers for the family. A truly remarkable man who knew the business, he will be missed.
Steve Sims
Decatur, TX
My heart-felt condolences to the Woodruff family.  I have so many cherished memories of Gary and Alvin's friendship during our time at OSU.
May God Bless the Woodruff family!
Edward & Beverly Adkins Whitworth
Carnegie, OK
RIP, dear classmate! Prayers to the entire family! May God be with you in the days to come.  Cherish his memories! Gary loved you so much, Leslie, Stefannye, Todd and Angela! I never talked to him that he didn't brag about you! I know it hurts so bad! We will never understand except by putting it in God's hands! Love you all! Prayers and hugs!!!
Raquel Manzanares
Carnegie, OK
Sending my condolence to Angela and her family. He will be miss by so many people. My God wrap his arm every single one of yall. Sending prayers.
Trina Britton
Lawton, OK
I remember him almost always with a smile on his face. He would come into Liberty Drug, almost every day (that was a secret) and get a Payday. Anytime I would see him at church he would come and shake my hand or ask how I was. I also remember him having this long haired dog that would ride around with him. We told him one day that if you didn't know any better we would think that he was riding around with a girl. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Amber Yeahquo Tsonetokoy
Lawton, OK
Dear Todd and family sorry about the loss of your father! Prayers that Gods holy spirit comes to comfort you all during this time. May you all be lifted up in prayers today and the days to come. Much love, Amber.
Bill Reedy
Carnegie, OK
Gary, You Were a True Friend!!! I Thank God for Sharing You in My Life!!! I always Enjoyed Our Conversations, You were a Very Knowledgeable & Intelligent Man. I will never Forget our Last Talk and am Looking Forward to our Next.  My Sincerest Condolences, My Love, My Thoughts and above all My Prayers Go Out to Your Precious Family!!! I'll See You Soon!!!
John Paul and Kaye Wravef
Carnegie, OK
Praying for comfort and peace for the family.
George Redbird
Anadarko, OK
My heart goes out to my friend Todd and his family.  ?? Of course Leslie, Steph, and Angela you all will be in my prayers.  Always enjoyed visiting with Gary.  May you all be blessed during these times.
Vickie Partridge Epperson
Carnegie, OK
He diffidently will be missed by a many people in the community, family, friends and many more. My Thoughts and Prayers will be on going during this difficult time in life. I know that their is a celebration going on in Heaven. I know your hearts are heavy. Just remember God will sustain and keep you and help you during this time. My Prayers and thoughts to each of you. When your ready Leslie come see me...
Opal Post
Moore, OK
Please accept my sincerest condolences. ??
Tessa Hill
Carnegie, OK
Prayers for the family
Theo Seaman
Carnegie, OK
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with all of you.
Sheila Blount
Lawton, OK
I am so sorry for your loss . Prayers for peace and comfort for all.
Becky Shaw
Coweta, OK
My thoughts and prayers are with you!
Michelle Turney
Carnegie, OK
There are not enough good words to say about Gary! He never knew how much I enjoyed our talks during his daily peanut patty fix at the drug store. He may or may not have known how those talks helped me come out of my shell and talk more at work. He always had a fascinating story to tell me. I hated when he decided to diet and wouldn't come in for a while. Lol. He had really kind words to say when my dad passed and it meant a lot! Prayers for all of his family! I promise Gary will be missed my many here. His contribution to this world was great!
Ladonna Butler
Carnegie, OK
So sorry, He will be missed
Robert Gilbert
Moore, OK
Leslie & All Woodruff Family & Relatives: Your loss is shared by many, who were Lucky enough to know Gary well.  Let caring thoughts be with you, much more than any words can tell. Just some words to let all of you know, how very much we care. May you feel the strength of God, as we hold you close in Prayer.
George Britton
Lawton, OK
I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with all of you. Gary always had a kind word to say to me when I made a delivery.  He was a good man.
Oweda Mace
Carnegie, OK
Gary touched many lives ,always friendly and concerned about others. Keep your precious memories close
Pam Johnson Eslinger
Hammon, OK
Leslie & family
I'm so sorry for ya'lls ya'lls loss. Gary was a good man & I know he will be missed by so many. I pray ya'll can find peace & comfort in the great memories ya'll have with Gary. God bless all of y'all.  My thought & prayers are with all of you during this difficult time!
Pepper Moss
Binger, OK
So sorry for your loss! I remember spending several hours at your house with Lynda. Gary was one of the nicest men I’ve ever known.
Marilyn Schnabel
Carnegie, OK
What a great man! You will be missed very much!.  Leslie and family my heart and prayers are for peace and comfort for you all tmrw and all the coming days
Linda Dyer
Carnegie, OK
Gary was such a great guy. He loved his family so much. Many prayers for you all.
Patti Scott
Carnegie, OK
We rest in the hope and promise of seeing our dear friend in the future. Until then, we see the legacy of Christ's unconditional love and kindness that Gary left everywhere, especially with Stefannye, Todd, Angela, and their families. One important thing a Dad can do for his children is to love their Mother, and he did.  Love, hugs, and continued prayers to all of you. ????
Dan Overland
Earlsboro, OK
Gary was a dear friend that i have known since I began my career in the Telephone business.  He ALWAYS had a smile, was quick with his quick wit, and would do anything to help you - ANYTHING.  Prayers to the entire Woodruff family and dear Leslie.  The Overlands love you all.
J B Massey
Van Buren, AR
I know it is extremely painful and you and your children are going through a very sad and trying time,but isn’t it comforting to know that Gary is with Jesus Christ and all the Saints.It is something we can all look forward to.Praying for you and your children.God Bless
James Scott
Ft. Worth, TX
Gary always had a huge smile and a very unique laugh that brightened everyone he crossed paths with.  Heaven has gained a wonderful soul.  Prayers for all of the family during this challenging time in your lives.
Deana Weidenmaier Ramsey
Lone Tree, CO
Y’all are all in our prayers. I wish we could have been at the service. I have loved Gary and your family since I was a child. I’m so sorry for your loss. He was a special man.
Joe Epperley
Seabrook, TX
I have good memories of Gary we have had many conversations when I was in school even when I was older with kids he always remembered me when I would be at the movies with my kids he would go out of his way to say hello while waiting on a show dog and his show pop. Gary was a great man and will be missed
* Please fill out all fields
Blue Skies
Evening Song
Spring Gratitude
Holy Bible
Star of David
US Flag