Cover photo for Johnnie Parnell's Obituary
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1933 Johnnie 2022

Johnnie Parnell

August 9, 1933 — April 28, 2022

Johnnie Melvin Parnell, resident of Ponca City, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday evening, April 28, 2022. He was 88 years of age.

Johnnie was born on August 9, 1933, in Oklahoma City, the son of John B Parnell and Minnie C (Wilbanks) Parnell. He was a 1951 graduate of Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City. He was married to Marva Leeta Sanders on November 20, 1953, in Oklahoma City. They had 4 children and were married for 61 years. Marva Leeta preceded him in death on May 28, 2015.

In his early school years, he attended Dibble, Shidler, and Blanchard schools. There were 2 years that the family moved to California for work. They took the train via Route 66. They returned to Oklahoma City where he attended Capitol Hill High School.  He lettered in football and baseball his Jr and Sr years. As a teenager and young man, he wrote several songs and loved singing and playing guitar.

He went on to attend Northern Oklahoma College on a football scholarship. It took many years following, but in 1973 he graduated with a B.S in Education from Oklahoma State University.  He was a huge OSU fan throughout his life!

He worked for many years in manufacturing, working for Macklanburg-Duncan in Oklahoma City, Fansteel Metalurgical Co in Muskogee and Continental Can Company in Ponca City. In 1978, he went to work for Conoco in the security department and retired from there in 1995.

When living in Muskogee, he became a member of the Masons and was active from 1962-1988. While attending OSU, he did an internship with the Opportunity Center teaching special needs children how to swim. He, also, coached Colt League baseball, working with 15-16 year olds.  Argus Hamilton, well known standup comedian and writer, was on his team. He had a great time with the boys.

Upon retirement, he enjoyed gardening, movies, music and his snacks. The movies and the snacks continued throughout his time at Ponca City Nursing Home. He watched movies around the clock and loved his chocolate kisses for years.  Most of all, he loved his family to pieces and he was loved!

Those left behind to cherish his memory are his Children;  Dee Anne Ruggs and husband Glenn of Glenpool, OK, Loree Parnell and Lisa Love both of Ponca City, OK and Johnnie Parnell Jr and wife Jammie of Richmond, TX, Grandchildren: Sean Love and wife Rachel of Ponca City, OK, Emily Ruggs Weaver and husband Cole of Haskell, OK, Shannon Love of Bloomington, Indiana, Brian Knapke of Ponca City, OK Jenny Ruggs and Brian Wood of Broken Arrow, OK, Jon Parnell of Lubbock, TX, Melissa Jenkins and husband Casey of Ponca City, OK, Jenna Parnell of Fayetteville, AR and Jordyn Parnell of Richmond, TX also surviving are great grandchildren; Madelyn Love, Tucker Love, Marley Love, Brady Weaver, Harper Weaver, Junith Buchanan, Juliette Jenkins and numerous nieces and nephew.

Johnnie was preceded in death by his parents, wife, one brother and one sister.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 pm. Friday, May 6, 2022, in the Sunset Baptist Church with Pastor Dennis Wildman officiating. Interment will follow in the Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetery. under the care of Grace Memorial Chapel of Ponca City. Visitation will be held, 1 P.M. TO 7 P.M. Thursday, May 5, 2022, at Grace Memorial Chapel of Ponca City. Casket bearers are Sean Love, Jon Parnell, Glenn Ruggs, Cole Weaver, Kenny Tsoodle and Brian Knapke. Memorial fund contributions may be made to the memorial fund of choice. Online guest registry is available at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Johnnie Parnell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

24 Hour Viewing

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, May 6, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Sunset Baptist church


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Interment following funeral service

Friday, May 6, 2022

Resthaven Memorial Park Cemetery

1900 E Hubbard Rd, Ponca City, OK 74604

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