John R. Wolverton
Memorial service for John R. Wolverton, 80, Lawton, will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Becker-Rabon Funeral Home Chapel.
John R. Wolverton passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Lawton.
He was born Sept. 7, 1937, to Ralph and Mary Wolverton. John R. Wolverton was a longtime Lawton businesman and principal owner of Wolverton Furniture in Lawton. He was the fourth generation to take over the furniture store. He grew up around the family business. His great-grandfather, John Wesley Wolverton, opened a store at the corner of 5th Street and D Avenue in 1901. His father bought the plot of land where Wolverton Furniture currently sits at 1302 N. Sheridan in 1955.
John witnessed an important piece of World War II history. His father was stationed as the battery commander at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. John and his brother looked out the window of their house and saw the Japanese planes attacking the harbor. After the war, he and his father worked at running the family hardware store downtown on E Avenue. When John was 15 he began to work at his father's store. He learned how to repair appliances, and he also helped with regular deliveries to customers. When he was 17, he was running the new store on Sheridan, which was an appliance store at the time.
In 1955, he was part of the first graduating class at the new Lawton High School on Fort Sill Boulevard. He then attended Cameron State Agricultural College and Central State University, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and education. Instead of pursuing a teaching career, he enlisted in the Army and retired as a colonel. He served as an active-duty soldier for six years. In 1967, he returned to Lawton after a tour in Vietnam and stayed in the reserves for over 42 years. The family businesses were sold off or closed over the years but John maintained several successful furniture stores throughout the city and returned to the original Wolverton Furniture store in 1991. He was a six-time president of the Optimist Club and member of Military Order of World Wars (MOWW). He loved spending time with his family and going to breakfast at the Optimist Club. He also enjoyed playing poker with his poker pals, fishing, telling jokes and going to movies. Over the past several years he enjoyed semi-retirement and handed over the store operations to the fifth generation, Ronn, to carry on the family business. Wolverton Furniture, his flagship store, still remains strong in the Lawton community.
He is survived by his wife, Eveline Wolverton, of the home; a brother, Morton Woody Wolverton of Sarasota, Fla.; two daughters: Leigh Jones of Houston, and Inga Wells of Lawton; four sons: Steven Wolverton of Lawton, Little John Wolverton of Oklahoma City, Ross Wolverton of Houston, and Ronn Wolverton of Lawton; 11 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and many nephews, nieces, cousins and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cache Fire Department or the Breakfast Optimist Club, P.O. Box 511, Lawton 73502.
An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at www.beckerfuneral.com.