Edward Jay Spradlin -age 71- passed from this life Monday afternoon August 2 following a traumatic bicycle accident on his way to work.
Jay was born on March 14, 1950 to Lawrence Edward “Mutt” Spradlin and Ruby Lee Hogue Spradlin. He was the second “bundle of joy” born to the Spradlin family that day. He and his twin, Ray, were identical “mirror” twins.
Jay grew up in Southeast Arkansas in the town of McGehee. In the early 1960’s- his Dad joined the Arkansas National Guard and then the U.S. Army. The family spent many years at Army bases all around the U.S. and spent time in Germany too.
Jay fondly recalled his time in Germany- especially one German Language class. The teacher was not fond of his and his brother’s “Southern accent.” They “played” with that adding “y’all” to whatever German phrase they were practicing.
Jay joined the U.S. Navy in the fall of 1968- following his graduation from McGehee High School. After boot camp and further training at San Diego he spent the remainder of his Naval career aboard the U.S.S. Kittyhawk in the combat waters off the coast of Vietnam. He served as a maintenance tech for the A-6 Squadron aboard ship.
About 6 weeks after his tour of duty in the Navy, he bought a motorcycle so he could “see the states.” He was enjoying traveling around California until an accident with a large milk truck changed his world. He lost his right leg from the knee down. He worked hard to regain his mobility. Once he did, he was unstoppable.
In early Spring of 1978- he met a gal from Oklahoma and on August 20 1978 he married “that” gal Carolyn Keim. The couple lived in New Orleans and southeast Arkansas and in August 1979 they moved to Chickasha where he went to work for Clayton’s Grocery #2. In December 1981- he moved to the Dunn’s Food Center which later became Spencer’s and now William’s Grocery. He was looking forward to December 2021, which would have been 40 years of service to the same grocery store.
Jay loved to visit with the customers and he took a genuine interest in each and every one. He was there to work, to help and serve the customers. He treated every customer the same; the rich, the poor, and all in between.
In the days of Dunn’s Groceries famous riding horse, Jay was known for keeping a pocket full of dimes to share with kids so that they could ride the mechanical horse. There were days when Jay’s leg was sore or tender; that did not stop him. He had a job to do and a little pain was not going to stop him.
Jay was a longtime member of the Chickasha Optimist Club. He served in many capacities in his 35 plus years.
Jay was a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He taught Sunday School, served on many committees as chairperson. He served many years as a deacon and was serving his fourth term as Elder, serving at the communion table as recently as two weeks ago.
He was preceded in death by his mother Ruby Lee Spradlin, father L.E. “Mutt” Spradlin, his grandmother, Maggie Hogue, his brothers, Guy Lane Spradlin, Terry Spradlin, Ray Spradlin and his brother’s- in- law, Larry Howell and Clint Ward.
Jay is survived by his wife of the home and 43 years, Carolyn Keim Spradlin, daughter Sally Belle and her husband John Wheeler of Arnett, OK and son Paul Spradlin of Oklahoma City and daughter in law Jeanene Potter of Del City, his grandchildren Luke Wheeler and Chloe Wheeler and Harlan Spradlin, his brother Larry and Yu-Li Spradlin, Houston, TX, his sister Kay Howell of Denham Springs, LA and adopted brother Thomas Gluszk of Jackson, MI, his sisterin-law Mary Ann Ward of Purcell, OK, his brother-in-law George and wife Joelle Keim of Trinity, FL, his uncle John Foster and his uncle Roy and wife Ursla Hogue. Many many cousins, nieces and nephews, greats and greats.
Family and friend’s visitation on Sunday, August 8, afternoon 4pm to 7pm at First Christian Church of Chickasha.
Memorial service on Monday, August 9, 1pm, First Christian Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chickasha.