James Edward “Turtle” Gaghins, son of Frank and Artie Mae Gaghins was born June 17, 1939 in Alix Arkansas. He died Thursday July 11, 2013 surrounded by his family at St John's Hospital in Tulsa at the age of 74.
James attended school in Inola, Okla. He was raised in and around Rogers County where he met and married his best friend and love of his life Edna Lucille Leach on Oct. 1, 1960 in Claremore, Okla.
He served in the National Guard and worked for several painting companies before starting his own painting business which he ran and worked at for over 20 years - even after breaking his back, which affectionately earned him the nickname Turtle. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
He enjoyed working with the youth of Rogers County and served as the Drug Awareness Chairman for several years. He held all Lodge chairs and is a past Exalted Ruler. He was a member of the 1996-97 Western Division National Championship Ritual Team and coach of the 2001-02 State Championship Ritual Team. His hobbies included camping, traveling and spending time with family.
James will be deeply missed by so many. He is survived by his wife Lucille of 52 years, their children Jimmy and wife Denise, Vicki and husband Gilbert, Sandra and husband Kelly, grandchildren April, Brett and fiancé Amber, Shawn, Taylor, Travis and wife Melissa and Tyler, great-grandchildren Kaylee, Kyler, Koby and Lillian, brother Johnny and wife Rella, and numerous sister and brother in laws and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and older sister Geneva.
Services were 10 a.m. Thursday, July 18, 2013 at Cedar Point Church in Claremore, with Warren Golick officiating. Interment followed in the Field of Honor at Oakhaven Memorial Gardens.