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Thomas's Story

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Thomas "Haskell" Murphree, of Duncan, passed away on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, in Oklahoma City at the age of 93. He was born on November 10, 1924, in Duncan, to Alton Parker and Mary Emma (Keenan) Murphree.

Family visitation is scheduled for Friday, February 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. at Whitt Funeral Home.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, February 24, at 1:30 P.M. at the Eastside Church of Christ with Ron Stough, minister, officiating. Arrangements have been entrusted to Whitt Funeral Home.

Haskell attended Lee Elementary School, Duncan Junior High School, and graduated from Duncan High School. He was drafted into the Navy at the age of 18 and served in the South Pacific during the World War II invasion of the Solomon Islands. He was the #1 sharpshooter in his squadron. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He married Virginia Lee Halbrooks on April 14, 1946, in Oklahoma City. They had three children, Michael, Mark, and Sharon.

He worked at the Security National Bank for L.L. Humphrey who made a personal loan to the Murphree brothers to open their first food market. Haskell and his brother, Clinton, joined forces at the Redwood Food Market on East Main Street. Their father also helped at the store. In 1964 they moved across the street into a new grocery store where they added selling fishing tackle, guns, and hunting/fishing licenses.

Haskell was an entrepreneur and was excellent at marketing his products. In 1972, they began eliminating the grocery products and kept the gun store open, along with the meat market. In 1974-75, they sold that building to Industrial Ignition.

He did a career change at that point, while Clinton continued with the gun store. Haskell teamed up with Chet Norton doing new home construction and remodeling, during which time he picked up the art of new finish carpentry. Mac McClanahan also taught him finish carpentry. He began to buy homes, remodeling them and selling them through rent-to-own. When he wanted a break, he would just go fishing for a month or two.

In 1983 he bought some property at Pine Creek Lake near Antlers. He built a cabin there where he and Virginia partially retired. They sold this family treasure in 2007 and returned to stay in Duncan. Every Tuesday he had a group who would come play dominoes at his home.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Murphree; parents, Alton and Emma Murphree; brothers, Clinton and Vernon Murphree; and granddaughter, Chelsea Dawn Murphree.

Haskell is survived by his children, Michael Lynn and wife Valerie Murphree of Mansfield, MA, Mark Edwin and wife Vanessa Murphree of Edmond, and Sharon Gay and husband Brice Carroll of Hot Springs, AR; ten grandchildren, Laura Elizabeth Page, John Thomas Murphree, Mark Traveler Murphree, Ashley Denea Henry, Traci Anne Murphree, Jason Scott Carroll, Chris Adam Carroll, Travis Austin Carrol, Christopher Michael Hewes, and Nathaniel Edward Hewes; 18 great grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Jessie Murphree and Sherry Murphree; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made in Haskell's name to the Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Tipton Children's Home.

Online condolences may be made to the family at www.whittfh.com.
Published on February 23, 2018
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