James Kenneth Privett
James Kenneth Privett was born May 4, 1932, in Ramsdell, Texas, to Elmer and Hazel Privett. His father was employed by the Rock Island Railroad Company. Privett was born in a railroad depot, where his parents lived and worked. He later lived in McLean and Shamrock, Texas, before the family moved to Sayre, OK, where he graduated from Sayre High School in 1949.
Privett attended Sayre Junior College and then enlisted in the Marine Corps in September 1950. He was assigned to the eastern part of North Korea in March 1951 and was wounded three weeks after his arrival. He was hospitalized for three weeks in the regimental aid station behind the front lines and was released April 1. He returned to front line for his acton on April 9 and again on May 29, but it was for his actions on June 6 that he was awarded the Bronze Star. He also earned a Purple Heart, Combat “V” Award and citation papers.
Privett married Babara Hamilton on June 12, 1955. He moved to Altus, OK and worked for ARKLA Gas Company. In 1956, he was offered employment at the Altus Post Office. During that time he was actively involved in the American Postal Workers Union and served as the Oklahoma State APWU President and traveled to attend many conventions. He was instrumental in getting a cost of living increase for postal workers which many post workers and retirees benefit from today. He retired from the USPS in 1979. He served as President of the local Elks Club. For many years, he worked a second job at Bud Adams Office Supply and Lee Office Supply. He and his wife, Barbara, opened Privett Sales Office Supply and Furniture Store in 1977. In addition to Privett Sales, the Privetts became involved in various real estate transactions in town. They semi-retired in 2007. Presently his son, Keith Privett and his wife, Jane, own and operate the business.
Privett served as an altar boy in his youth and has been an active member of the Catholic Church in Altus. He was originally a member at St. Sophia Magdalen located on Live Oak Street. He was a member of the building committee that planned the new church called Prince of Peace Catholic Church located on Falcon Road. He served in many capacities at the church including usher and he was a charter member founder of the Knights of Columbus Council 4889 for Prince of Peace.
Privett loved to travel and visited six of the seven continents. He enjoyed connecting with friends all over the globe including many cruises to far parts of the world. As much as he loved to travel, he was always happy to return to his home in Altus. He was also an avid card player always interested in a family game of Spades and he and his wife were members of many bridge groups.
Most of all, he was very proud of his family. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara. He was proud of his three children: Gail Davis and children Kyle and Luke and future wife, Krystal of Dallas; Janet Robinson of Gould and children Jessica of Altus and Jeremy and Kyanne and son Jace of Hollis; and Keith and Jane Privett of Altus and children Zach and Madeleine of Austin,TX, Alyssa and future husband, Will Saint, and Kayla of Dallas and Evan of Altus and many nieces and nephews. He was looking forward to the weddings of two grandchildren next month.
He is preceded in death by his parents Elmer and Hazel Privett, and his brothers, Ted, Larry, Gene, Donald and Burl.
A rosary will be said on Friday, April 12 from 6:00-6:30 p.m. followed by songs and stories from family and friends from 6:45-7:30 p.m. The family will remain to visit until 8 p.m. at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 10:00 am at Prince of Peace Catholic Church.