Landscapes 04

Harold "Wayne" Rachel

October 17, 1937 ~ August 25, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


Harold “Wayne” Rachel was born October 17, 1937, in Fort Smith, Arkansas and died at 85 years old on August 25, 2023.  He is preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Karen Kay Rachel, his father, Robert Lee Rachel and his mother, Flora Bordon Palone.  He is survived by his daughter Rene Gutteridge, her husband Sean, and their children John and Cate; his daughter Wendy Wheeler, her husband John, and their children Vance, Rachel and Amber; his sister Peggy “Sue” Smith; Sue’s daughter Nancy Colemen and family; sisters-in-law Shirley Clement, Linda Bevers and brother-in-law Don Wright and their families. 

After his father was killed in a mining explosion when Wayne was still a toddler, Wayne, Sue and mom Flora were resourceful to make ends meet.  Wayne spent many summers and school holidays with various family on the Rachel and Borden sides of the family, and enjoyed time around his grandparents’ farm.  He learned at an early age the value of hard work as well as the importance of skills and education.

Wayne graduated high school and went on to join the Navy, attending officer training and achieving Second Lieutenant, seeing many places in Asia during the war.  Once his service was complete, he returned to Tulsa University, serving as president of his class and finishing his education as a Petroleum Engineer. Wayne landed great oilfield opportunities early in his career, including a field engineer job in Midland, TX where he met his wife, Karen.  They relocated to Shidler, Oklahoma and started their young family, before moving briefly to Denver, Colorado and then to their beloved property in Edmond, OK, where they resided for 45 years.

Wayne enjoyed all things green and turned his property into a fruit and vegetable lover’s dream.  He spent hours in his large workshop using his carpentry skills and working on various gadgets to improve his greenhouse and gardens. He also loved training his dogs, especially his beloved dogs Shawnee, Blaze and Brass. After retiring from his job with Tenneco Oil, he went back to school at OSU-OKC to gain a horticulture degree, teaching a few classes as well.  He also loved golfing with his wife. They always walked the 18 holes until the heat became too much for their age.  His other great love was hunting, which he enjoyed with his wife’s family down in Texas, various friend outings to Kaw Lake where he purchased some property, and in his later years with his son-in-law John and grandson Vance.  The annual dove hunt over Labor Day was a highlight of his year, along with watching football and war movies and debating the politics of the day.

Dad/Wayne/Gramps was a quiet introvert, spending many hours immersed in his outdoor passions, but equally enjoyed the crowds that always gathered around holidays and birthdays and looked forward to his house filling with laughter and holiday food.  His kids and grandkids felt at “home” like no other at his property in Edmond, the warmest of places to gather and grow memories.  He will be greatly missed and respected by all who had the privilege of knowing him.    

A close family and friend Celebration of Life will be held in Stillwater on September 24th.  Donations in his memory may be made to the OSU-OKC Arboretum.

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