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William's Story

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William C. (Bill) Larkin, a truck owner and operator and Marine Iwo Jima veteran, died April 12, at his long-time Claremore home. He was 93.
Born June 6, 1924, in a farm house near Avant, Bill was the youngest of four sons and two daughters of Merton and Bessie Thomas Larkin. His mother died when he was six.
Growing up on the banks of Bird Creek, he attended school at Avant before moving to Skiatook for high school. Following football season his senior year in 1943, Bill left to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Seventy-two years later he received his diploma when the Skiatook Class of 2015 made him an honorary member. He joined them in cap and gown for graduation ceremonies.
As a result Bill received notes from faraway places as Washington state and Holland.
Bill and his high school sweetheart Lois Jean Hendrickson were married in Tulsa January 1946. Son Larry was born 10 months later. Daughter Susan Lynne would join the family in 1957.
During his career Bill operated two filling stations and joined the Highway Patrol before settling into cross country truck driving. The latter would see him travel across 49 states.
The Larkin family moved to Claremore in 1963, building their home on Claremore Lake. Able to lease adjoining pasture, Bill enjoyed owning cattle and other livestock well into his 80's.
When walking became troublesome Bill started using a golf cart around the property. His constant riding partner was his dog Puddin.
Survivors include wife Lois of the home; son and daughter-in-law Larry and Cherl and daughter and son-in-law Susan and Dwight Craig, all of Claremore; grandchildren Lauri and Scottie Titsworth, Claremore, Christi and Brett Hendrix, Broken Arrow, Justin Smith, Claremore, and Matthew and Melissa Smith, Claremore; eight great grandchildren, Edie, Dorie, Braden, Eric, Camden, Skylar, Corbyn, and Tayvn; several nieces and nephews; and beloved neighbors Tim and Michelle Williams and daughters Savannah and Jasmine.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Baptist with burial at Oakhaven Gardens Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service. Visitation will be 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday with family in attendance from 6 to 8.
Published on April 16, 2018
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