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Gary Mitchell Daffern
November 4, 1946 ~ July 30, 2010 (age 63) 63 Years Old
28 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Gary's family - View on Tribute Wall
Trooper Gary Daffern, 63, of Hooker, Oklahoma passed away Friday, July 30, 2010 at his home. Gary's unique style of life began on November 4, 1946. As was his style, he made things difficult from the very beginning, as he was delivered in a snow storm by a veterinarian. At times a veterinarian birth seemed fitting as he was both as stubborn as a mule and as unpredictable as a longhorn steer. He was the youngest child born to Dewey Mitchell and Hazel Marie (Willis) Daffern in Wiley, Colorado. Even though he was the youngest of eight siblings, he was soon to be a force to be reckoned with. He grew up in Lamar, Colorado and Boise City, Oklahoma. Stories from his youth included knocking his siblings unconscious with slingshots, and riding tricycles down the stairs of his childhood home. In high school, Gary played football, baseball and basketball. His football career ended with a severe concussion. He met his wife, Jelela Jean Bearden at a Boise City High School Sadie Hawkins Dance. They were married in Boise City, OK on July 3, 1965. After marrying, they moved to Independence, Kansas where he attended the junior college, built boats for the Starcraft Boat Company, managed the Daffern Standard Service gas station and built homes before joining the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in 1971. He continued as a state trooper until his retirement in 1996. In 1973, Gary was awarded the Trooper of the year award when he saved a woman from a burning vehicle in Tulsa. In 1978, he was a member of the first OHP pistol team where he competed in numerous National Championships. He and John Wayne Smith won the two-man National Championship in 1987. He was honored as one of the Oklahoma Governors top 20 shooters in the state numerous times and was also the first OHP trooper to be named to the Presidents top 100 shooters in the nation in 1980. He also holds the state record for shooting five targets in 1.84 seconds with a 12-gauge pump shotgun. Separate from this list of accomplishments, we also must not forget the accounts of him setting gas stations on fire in some primal form of courting his future wife, accidentally shooting himself with a pistol secured in the overhead sun-visor in his patrol car, the story of the big-foot that followed him home after elk hunting in Colorado, driving into a tornado, wrecking his patrol car while pheasant hunting on duty, and for those of you lucky enough the epic theory of how tumbleweeds migrate south in the summer and then swim north in the Mississippi river to spawn each winter. Gary was an avid hunter, fisherman, golfer, carpenter, and most dear to his heart, a Trooper. The title Trooper was not simply a profession; it was the standard by which he lived his life. Being a Trooper meant having a moral compass for which he would live, share, teach, and influence others. He had a magical effect on all those he came into contact with, providing compassion even in the worst of circumstances. He seldom complained but accepted that lifes challenges were a given and your only option was to smile, stick your bottom lip out, raise your head up do the best you can. A single adjective defined Gary..., character. Not because he had it, but because he was one. He was always smiling and was truly never bored. His mind was always racing with possibilities of what he could do next. His children joke that dads philosophy was, its not about you, meaning his actions at times didnt take into account those around him. However, he wasnt selfish nor did he ignore anyone. At the core of this philosophy was the belief that a person couldnt help those around them unless they were happy and content with themselves. His actions always revolved around helping those around him and by doing so it made him happy and content. Just as he entered world, being difficult; so was his exit. Over the last trying months, Gary struggled through an on-going battle with cancer. Although the battle was lost, the greater war has been won as he entered through Heaven's gates July 30, 2010. His faith in Jesus Christ was displayed daily in his love and treatment of others. Gary was a faithful husband, a dedicated Trooper, a loving father, an obnoxious grandpa and Jeannie's best friend. He is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and three children, Tonya and Paul Brooks, Monty and Jenny Daffern, and Casey and Kimberly Daffern. Grandchildren include Jacey Brooks, Jahna Brooks, Tessa Brooks, Harrison Daffern, Melanie Daffern, and Kyeson Daffern. His siblings, Joe and Judy Daffern, Ellinwood, KS, Charles and Wilma Daffern, Colorado Springs, CO., Doug & Ilene Daffern, Boise City OK., Myrtie Gourley, Kansas City, MO., Barbara and Melvin Smith, Henderson, IA. Preceding him in death are sisters E-Vona Thrall and Merl Cook, also two brother-in-laws Melvin Cook and Gene Gourley, as well as his parents. Due to the impact he's had on each of us, he will not just be remembered, rather he cant be forgotten. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday, August 2, 2010 at the Hooker High School Auditorium in Hooker, Oklahoma with Matt Richardson, Monty Daffern and Casey Daffern officiating. Interment will be in the Hooker Cemetery directed by Roberts Brothers Funeral Home, Inc. in Hooker, Oklahoma. Memorials are suggested to the Hooker Golf Course or the American Cancer Society and may be left at the Roberts Brothers Funeral Home, Box 745, Hooker, Oklahoma, 73945.