Thomas M. Champion of McAlester, Oklahoma died Thursday, July 5, 2012 at a local nursing home. Graveside services will be at Gethsemane Cemetery, Caddo, Oklahoma Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Stephen Nation officiating under direction of Cunningham Funeral Home, Caddo, Oklahoma.
He was the son of Henry and Minnie Furgeson Champion and was born at Hollywood, Texas on November 4, 1935. He graduated high school from Bokchito in 1954 and married Evelyn Parker on December 24, 1954 then moved to Lufkin, Texas in 1956. Thomas was employed by Lufkin Trailers. Later moved to Trinity, Texas where he was store manager with Brookshire Brothers food chain. They moved back to Bokchito where Thomas then attended Southeastern State University. In 1963, they moved to McAlester, Oklahoma where he was a long time employee of The Gladstein Company. In 1970, owned and operated the McAlester Motor Inn. He later owned and operated Champion Heating and Air and retired from Jackie Brannon Correctional Facility.
He had been a member of Masonic Blue Lodge #9 in McAlester, Bedouin Shrine Temple, Muskogee, Oklahoma, Elks Lodge #533 in McAlester, Jaycees, Optimist Club and enjoyed all sports.
He was of the Baptist faith.
Thomas is survived by daughter, Linda Gail Champion Howell Young, grandson B.J. Howell and wife, Tabetha, grandaughter, Lauren Howell Ragan, great grand daughter, Autumn Ragan, sister Paralee Allen Evans, several nieces, nephews and cousins, a special high school friend, John Simmons and many friends.
Preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Minnie Champion and son, Ronald Lynn Champion, baby sister Mary Jane Champion, brother and sister in law Noah and Hughline Champion, sister and brother in law Dorothy and Connelee Bishop, sister and brother in law Lillian and Fred Dabbs, sister and brother in law Dealva and Robert Boles, brother in law Hubert Allen, brother and sister in law Bryant and Addeline Champion, brother and sister in law Bob and Molly Champion, brother Carl Champion and son in laws William (Bill) Howell and Larry Young.