William 'Rex' Mantooth
January 7, 1918 — April 23, 2016
William "Rex" Mantooth, age 98 years, 3 months and 16 days, passed away at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, April 23, 2016. He was a long time Hominy resident.
William Rex Mantooth was born on January 7, 1918 in Newburg, Comanche County, Texas to James Columbus and Addie Bell (English) Mantooth. He had two siblings, Laura Fay and James Ray Mantooth. The three children with their parents moved to Hominy, Oklahoma from Texas by covered wagon in 1922.
In 1924, at the age of 6, he started school. He had to walk about three miles to the Sunset School every day, though at about the age of 10, he started riding on horseback. He was able to complete the 5th grade; after which he stayed home to help his family on the farm. Their farm was not very big, only about 10 acres, however, they grew a variety of produce including: watermelon, cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, corn and peanuts. The family made their living selling these crops.
When Rex was 19 years old, in 1937, Rex went to a CCC Camp, (Civilian Conservation Corps) which was run by the US Army Reserves and was a work relief program for unemployed, unmarried men. Conservation and development of government lands, including state park development, tree planting, fence building and road construction was the focus of these camps. The first camp he attended in Dolores, Colorado. In 1938, he went to a different camp in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where he stayed for 18 months.
On November 4, 1941, Rex was inducted into the US Army and after attending Signal Corps Radar Operator School, he went to Panama and watched for enemy planes on radar and helped guard the Panama Canal. While he was in Panama, he had a pet monkey and parakeet. At night the monkey would bite holes in his fellow soldiers' shaving cream and toothpaste tubes. When they tried to use them in the morning, the contents would go all over the place. Some of the men in the unit would get mad at the monkey and throw things at it. During his tenure in Central America, there were no major problems at the canal and he was Honorably Discharged on October 28, 1945.
After leaving the Army in 1946, Rex started work for the Osage County Highway Department and also worked for the Oklahoma State Highway Department in another county. 1950-1961 he worked for the Hominy Street Department. After 1961, Rex began working in the carpentry field and built mostly cabinets and charged $6.00 an hour. He retired in 1980 at the age of 62.
Rex married his wife of 53 years; Edith Lucille Passmore on November 1, 1945. Rex lived with his wife until she went into the Hominy Nursing Home in the mid 1990s. He visited her daily, sometimes 2-3 times. Unfortunately she passed away on March 9, 1999. Even after this terrible loss, he continued doing what he loved: arts and crafts. He drew, painted and worked with wood. His wood sculptures included animals like buffalo and horses which he crafted and painted.
Rex was very active in the Blackwell-Frazier American Legion Post 142 in Hominy and served as its Chaplin. He also was a long time member of the First Baptist Church in Hominy. He had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed the simple things; one of his favorites was just riding in his truck with his dog, Trixie. He will be greatly missed.
Rex is survived by: a daughter, Cynthia Fay Ratliff of Hominy, OK; 2 grandsons: Jimmie D. and Lacy Ratliff of Hominy, OK and John Paul and Ashley Ratliff of Tulsa, OK; a great-grandson, Bramble Reynolds of Hominy, OK; 2 great-nephews, Chris and Frankie Prochaska of Hominy, OK and Dustin Gregory of Edmond, OK and also other nieces and nephews.
Rex was preceded by: his parents; his wife, Edith; 2 infant sons: Michael Anthony Mantooth and Richard Charles Mantooth; his brother, Ray Mantooth and his sister Fay Rush.
Funeral services were held 10:00 AM, Thursday, April 28, 2016 with the Pastor Mark Formby officiating. Shirley Graham was the pianist and musical selections were: "Go Rest High on the Mountain", "Daddy's Hands" and "Amazing Grace." The pallbearers, his brothers from Blackwell-Frazier American Legion Post 142, were: Babo Carter, Steve Swinford, Jerry Jackson, Jack Cross, Jerry Sebert and Charles O'Leary. Burial with Military Honors followed at A.J. Powell Memorial Cemetery in Hominy.