Ray Argene Clanton, 95, passed away at his home on August 30, 2019. Argene was born in Barnsdall, Oklahoma, on July 11th, 1924 to Cleve and Verda Clanton. He attended Vinita and Chelsea schools and on August 17th, 1943, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served his country until he was honorably discharged on June 10th, 1946. On November 1st, 1946, he married Martha Carter of Chelsea, Oklahoma. They farmed, ranched and ran a dairy on their place on Highway 66 between White Oak and Chelsea; and they attended rodeos so that Argene could calf rope with many great friends. Later, he owned Clanton’s Cafe, in Vinita, for 11 years. They raised 3 daughters- Peggy, Connie and Pam. He later bought Clanton’s Truck Stop in Big Cabin and ran it for 17 years. In 1992, Martha passed away. A year later, Argene met Roberta Millarr and they were married on February 5th, 1994. Roberta had 3 sons- Andy, Bryan and Ronald, and a daughter, Suzie. Argene and Roberta lived on her farm and he bought and raised cattle and had a great garden. They enjoyed the country life with their friends and their families. He also worked for Craig County District 3 for several years. Argene was a member of the American Legion Post 40 for 72 years, serving as Commander and Rodeo Chairman for several of years. He was the Craig County Republican Party Chairman, working with Governor Henry Bellmon and Dewey Bartlett for their winning campaigns.
His passion was the Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo. He rode a horse from Chelsea to Vinita to see his first rodeo, after Will Rogers made his famous statement, “Have a rodeo and I’ll be back”. He and many of his Legionnaire friends worked long and tedious hours to help build the rodeo field and arena into one of the best in the Country. Argene posted the colors for the rodeo for 42 years. He and Bryan Millarr, Mark Hopkins and Bob Henney started a Memorial Ride that began at the Will Rogers Home Place in Oologah and ended at the Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo Field in Vinita. The ride continued for several years, with many joining them for the journey on horseback.
He loved telling stories, talking to people, working his cattle and his businesses and going to rodeos. Argene was a “shirt-pocket” businessman- a small notebook, checkbook, pen, his wallet and his phone were an arms-reach away; no computer needed. Above all, Argene loved his family. He had a special place in his heart for his wife, children, grandchildren and family members. He was a great man, loved by many, and one that will be missed by his family, friends and community.
Argene is survived by wife, Roberta Millarr; children, Peggy and husband, Edd McGehee, Connie and husband, Robert Satterwhite, Pam and husband, John Swift, Andy Millarr and wife Janee, Bryan Millarr and wife Gina, Ronald Millarr and wife Treva, Suzie Randle and husband Mark; nineteen grandchildren; thirty-two great grandchildren; and 4 great-great grandchildren.
A visitation will be held Wednesday, September 4, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm in the Luginbuel Funeral Home Chapel. Services will be 10:00 am Thursday, September 5, 2019 at the Fairgrounds in the Craig County Community Center with Greg Highsmith officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery.
The family suggest donations be made to Dale Peace Post #40 or Vinita FFA Livestock Premium Sales.
Services are under the direction of Luginbuel Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at www.honoringmemories.com or at the Luginbuel Facebook page.