Ralph Buchanan, age 91, was born on December 1, 1927 in Ada, OK to Virgil and Sarah Louise Buchanan. He passed away February 12, 2019 surrounded by his family. Ralph grew up in the Holdenville area graduating from Holdenville High School. He played basketball in high school. T Boone Pickens was Ralph’s best friend on the team. Ralph liked to say they warmed the bench together. He was also in the Eagle Scouts and played the trumpet in high school. Ralph was raised in the Baptist Church as a child, but joined the Methodist Church when he married, and eventually Antioch Christian Church, where Patsye worked as a secretary to the minister. Mark remembers singing in the church choir with Ralph and remembers that Ralph loved that! Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Navy after WWII has ended and served in the Pacific on the islands of Sai Pan and Guam. While on the islands he had to hide in caves a lot. This was difficult for him because as a child a creek bank had collapsed on him, causing him to become claustrophobic. As a child Mark begged Ralph to take him to Carlsbad Caverns because “he thought caves were really cool.” Despite his fears, Ralph took Mark to visit Carlsbad. Mark claims Ralph took him out of real love. Ralph met Patsye Scott the first time at a Billy Graham revival. The second time he ran into her was while bowling at Holiday Lanes. Mark found a note in Patsye’s handwriting in which she says that there were no real sparks after the first and second meetings, but that the third date proved different… “there was dining, dancing and the full board.. all bells, whistles and flowers.” Shortly after Patsye and Ralph were married and together they shared a lifetime of happiness.
In his early years Ralph had done accounting work. Later he joined Patsye and began working alongside Patsye and her sister, Betty and brother-in-law, Bob Overstreet and his mother-in-law, Ora Scott in the family business, Scott Cleaners. He continued there until the business transitioned to new owners. Following this he worked at Resthaven Memory Gardens in sales. Later still he sold insurance and was a pari-mutuel clerk at Remington Park. His last job was as a van driver for the Airport Express. Ralph and Patsye had one son, Mark, a daughter-in-law, Vickie Caroline Buchanan, and an adopted grandson, Gabriel, who called Ralph “Pepop.” Ralph was one of Mark’s Scoutmasters as well as involved in Woodsmen of the World with him. They used to go to an archery range in the basement of a building on Robinson.
Vickie and Mark adopted Gabriel. Ralph, Patsye, Mark, and Vickie made Gabriel the center of their lives and love the moment they first laid eyes on him. Sadly, the family lost Vickie at a young age to cancer. So Patsye and Ralph stepped up to assist Mark in rearing Gabriel. Patsye had a fall on her driveway in 2007 and broke her hip and did not recover after surgery. She died soon thereafter.
Ralph was preceded in death by his parents; wife Patsye & her sister Betty Overstreet & her husband Carl “Bob” Overstreet; daughter in law Victoria “Vickie” Caroline Buchanan.
He is survived by his son, Mark Buchanan;
Grandson, Gabriel Elijah Buchanan;
Sister, Virginia Sartor;
Niece, Donna Sartor;
Niece, Judy Crabtree & her husband Troy;
Nephew, Scott Overstreet & his wife Connie;
Niece, Karla Young & her husband Shannon;
Nephew, Kameron Overstreet & his wife Christie;
& numerous other nieces, nephews, cousins & friends.