Denver V. Gearhart I, peacefully went to meet his Lord and Savior, on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. He was 99 years of age. He was born Sept. 21, 1918, in Englewood, Kan., the son of James Franklin Gearhart and Jennie Phelps Gearhart. Upon his mother’s passing 28 days later, he was raised by his grandparents, David Franklin Gearhart and Ella Kennedy Gearhart. He moved to Wichita, Kan., when he was a young man to seek his fortune. He lived with his older brothers, Bruce and Galen, for awhile and worked his first job at the Crawford Theater as an usher. He went to American Business College in Wichita and he met the love of his life, Florence Viola Jones. They were married six months later on Nov. 23, 1938. One year later, they had their first child, Denver Vernon Gearhart Jr. and seven years later they had a daughter, Gila Lou Gearhart. He also went to San Jose Bible College in California and while going to school, he made a living for his family as a tree surgeon.
After moving from California back to Kansas, he worked for the post office as a mail carrier in Wichita, Kan., for 38 years.
In 1996, he and Florence moved to Ponca City. They enjoyed 67 years of marriage together. After the passing of Florence, he and Pug Hargraves became good friends and spent much time together playing dominoes and watching “flicks”.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his two brothers, Bruce and Galen; three step sisters, Genevieve, Ladeane and Ella Jane and a half sister, Joann. His wife, Florence passed away on Oct. 6, 2005 and his good friend, Pug Hargraves passed away on Feb. 12, 2017.
He is survived by his son, Denver Vernon Gearhart II and wife Janie, of Ponca City; his daughter, Gila Lou Balman and husband Warren Balman, of Rochester, N.Y.; also three grandchildren, Sonya Gearhart Shepherd and her husband Scott, of Ponca City, Denver Gearhart III and his wife Ana, of Everett, Wash. and Steve Gearhart and his wife Justine, of Tulsa; nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
He had a wonderful sense of humor and had quite a repertoire of funny little songs he learned as a boy, which he entertained us with on many occasions. He was a humble servant of the Lord and lived his life as a faithful Christian. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. He leaves behind a host of friends and loved ones who will greatly miss him. He served as a deacon of the church for many years and was an active member of Hartford Avenue Church of Christ in Ponca City.
Friends and loved ones may pay their respects at Trout Funeral Home from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13 and from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The family will greet friends at the funeral home from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday. A funeral to celebrate his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ. He will be laid to rest at 3 p.m. in Resthaven Cemetery in Wichita, Kan. Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home and Crematory.
Memorial donations may be provided to the Hartford Avenue Church of Christ, 1905 Joe St., Ponca City, OK 74601 or Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 445 N. Fairview, Ponca City, OK 74601.