Andrew Morris Choate was born July 9, 1933 in Bennington, Oklahoma. He was 88 when he went to receive his eternal reward Sept. 23, 2021 from his home in Finley, Oklahoma.
There are many ways to describe Andy. He said he was a G.I. kid — government issue — because he was raised by the government: first as a student at Jones Academy, then Chilocco boarding school, living at Oklahoma Presbyterian College while attending Southeastern Oklahoma College and rising to a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.
He was husband to Norma Lavonne Choate for 65 years. They partnered to raise four children —daughters Jackie Quiver Choate of Mesquite, Texas and Rebecca "Janie" Choate, of Finley, Oklahoma; sons Warren Andrew Choate, of Durant, Oklahoma and Edward Morris Choate, of Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Andy was grandfather to Michael and Holly Mejorado, of Mesquite, Texas; and Kari Jean Quiver, of Mesquite, Texas. He was great grandfather to Briony Quinn Mejorado.
He was a brother, son, uncle and friend.
Andy showed love in a variety of ways. Granddaughter Kari will tell you he was her greatest supporter. Granddaughter Holly strives to model his love of family to her family.
His children grew up to be happy and accomplished people with the help of his love and guidance. Jackie raised two wonderful children and she knew he would always be there for her and her children. Janie became his caregiver late in his life — completing the cycle. His sons shared their father's love of sports. Warren frequently visited his parents to watch games. Edward became a journalist — starting out in Sports departments because of his father's devotion to newspapers.
Andy was a provider. He took care of his family for his entire adult life. Even into his 80s, if his family ate out together, Dad got the check.
He taught his children in many ways — sometimes in direct discipline. Many more times through example. Andy got "up and at 'em" every day to provide for his family. He went a 10-year stretch where he called in sick once. He said he was loyal to his employers — he spent 35 years at Bethlehem Steel Corp. — because "they helped him raise a family."
The lessons varied in delivery. He used to crank up the lawn mower at 8 a.m. Saturday mornings outside his sons' bedroom window — a reminder that chores are waiting and are not to be forgotten. If his children paid attention they knew the value of taking care of their vehicles — the proper amount of oil and air became evident as Dad maintained the family cars each weekend.
He showed you how to be responsible. His calculator, checkbook, stamps, envelopes laid out in a familiar, particular way taught you to pay your bills.
He could be direct with the lesson saying "your house should always be clean enough so your mother can visit any time she wants."
Andy was a Marine and Choctaw — and was very proud of both who led by example.
He served his country as a Marine in Korea. He served the Finley community by being a volunteer firefighter. He served his church — Old Cedar Methodist in Finley — in myriad ways, including as treasurer.
He was proud and you knew he was used to being in charge. He once told Norma that if he was in the car, he would be driving. (The one time he had her drive, she wrecked the car.) Andy also was responsible and pragmatic. There came a time that whenever one of his children were around, he handed over the keys to the car and let them drive because it was the right thing to do.
He loved many things. He loved Country and Western music. His children practically had to learn to drive before realizing there was anything other than local radio station KBOX and its country music available on the car radio. He loved "Gunsmoke." He watched every episode so many times you would have thought he had them memorized.
He loved to laugh. It could be a goofy sense of humor. He very much enjoyed watching "Hee Haw." He loved to hear and tell funny stories about his family.
He loved animals. There were always animals around the house. He spoke to them and cared for them. He loved to see deer wander around outside his home in Finley. Animals loved him — particularly cats and dogs. They must have somehow knew they were safe around him.
He loved sports. He played tennis and golf, he was a boxer in his youth, he spent many years in bowling leagues and traveled for tournaments on the weekends.
He was a manager to many fastpitch softball teams in leagues in Dallas and throughout Oklahoma during summer weekends. He considered coaching those teams one of his fondest memories.
He loved to watch sports on TV — in particular the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks and University of Oklahoma Sooners. He read two daily newspapers for many years — The Dallas Morning News and the evening editions of the Dallas Times Herald. He started with the Sports section.
There are so many more things to mention that time and space do not permit. But talk with anyone who knew him and there will so many stories. These remembrances will be part of what keeps his spirit alive.
Preceded in death by father Rufus Choate and mother Mollie Brokeshoulder Choate, sisters Fran Muskrat and May Varner, brothers Rufus Choate Jr. and John Henry Choate.
Survived by wife Norma (Williams) Choate of the home in Finley, OK; daughters Jackie Choate Quiver of Mesquite, Texas and Janie Choate of Finley, OK, sons Warren Choate of Durant, OK, and Edward Choate of Muskogee, OK; granddaughters Holly Mejorado and husband Michael of Mesquite, Texas; Kari Quiver of Mesquite, Texas; and great granddaughter Briony Mejorado, Mesquite, Texas; sister Ruth Morgan and husband John; brothers Franklin Choate and Melvin Choate, and a host of nieces and nephews.
Andy was taken from this mortal Earth following a long illness. Today he is in the arms of his Creator. He is strong, healthy, sharp and happy. That's the way we will always remember him.
Andy's funeral will be held Sept. 27, 2021 at 10 AM. He was buried at the Veterans Cemetery at Tuskahoma, Oklahoma.
Pallbearers were Warren Choate, Edward Choate, Ted Williams, Michael Gibson, Michael Mejorado, and Garry Lee Williams.
Honorary Pall Bearers were Melvin Choate, Franklin Choate, Victor Eyachabbe, Kenneth Williams, Jonathan Williams, Justin Williams, Jesse Gibson, Justus Gibson, Joshua Gibson, and Gilbert Heritage
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