Paul Henry Backhaus, Longtime Newkirk resident and more recently of Oklahoma City entered the gates of heaven om Sunday, July 12, 2020 at the age of 99. He had been a resident of Rambling Oaks Courtyard in Oklahoma City.
The son of Louis Henry William Backhaus and Louise Matilda (Gehlert) Backhaus, Paul was born Dec. 30,1920 in Newkirk, the eldest of six children. He grew up on a farm in the Newkirk area and began his education at OK Rural School. He then attended Newkirk High School where he graduated with the class of 1938. Following graduation, he became employed with Continental Oil Company in Ponca City.
On Sept. 2, 1942 Paul enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps. It was while he was in the service that he met his “Sweetie”, Lora May Baringer on a blind date. They were married June 4, 1944 at the Central Christian Church in Arkansas City. They established their first home in St. Joseph, Mo. where he was stationed as an airplane and engine mechanic. He received a World War II Victory Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and the American Theater Ribbon. Paul received an Honorable Discharge February 17, 1946 with the rank of Sergeant.
After his military service, Paul and Lora moved back to Newkirk to raise their five children, Donnie, Darrell, Rose Mary, Nancy and Loretta. He worked at Conoco refinery in Ponca City for 44 years, retiring in 1982. Lora died Nov. 3, 1996.
Paul was a stoic and faithful member of the First Christian Church of Newkirk for 70 plus years. There is not one corner of the church in Newkirk he did not maintain, repair, mow or clean. He served as an elder and truly was a man of God who quietly served where he was needed.
Paul was a master gardener and craftsman His two gardens were carefully cultivated every spring, summer and fall and filled with green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, onions beets, corn, okra, dill, grapes, and popcorn. While Paul cold grow an amazing abundance of vegetables to fill the supper table, his favorite food/treat was undoubtedly……ice cream. Every night ended with a bowl of ice cream before bed.
Paul’s garage was filled with numerous tools with which to tackle so many projects. At one point, he sanded and refinished all the wood floors in their home. He enjoyed teaching and making things with his grandkids, creating tables, rocking horses, chairs, and many other wood projects. Paul could make or fix anything!
Paul’s greatest love, besides his family, was fishing and camping. Over the years, he and Lora traveled thousands of miles across the USA with a fifth wheel and boat in tow, with camping friends, or part of the Pioneer Good Sam’s Travel Club where he served as a Wagon Master/Trail Boss. Paul could be found most mornings with his thermos of coffee at 4 a.m., crawling into his boat ready to catch enough bass for the yearly neighborhood/family/church fish fry. His favorite and most sacred lake was Beaver Lake in Rogers, Ark., at the Rocky Branch Campground in the spring and fall for over 60 years. Early morning fishing trips, boat rides with the grandkids, and campfires were fond memories for Paul. His proudest fishing moment came when he snagged an 11pound bass at Broken Bow, Okla. It was the fish to end all fishing stories and the one that didn’t get away.
Paul will be dearly missed by his family and friends who call him Dad, Grandpa, Gramps, Grandpa B, Uncle Paul, and Paul Henry. His strong hugs and firm handshakes will be remembered by his children, Darrell and Karen Backhaus of Ponca City, Rose Mary and Joe Yockey of Moore, Nancy and Denny Loghry of Woodburn, IA, and Loretta Lane of Edmond; 12 grandchildren, Mike Backhaus, Christopher Backhaus, Geneva Morton, Tonya Johnson, Julie Cartwright, Mary Beth Yockey, Mark Yockey and Clay Yockey, Clint Loghry, Crystal Young, Allison Lane, Lori Lane and John Gayton.
He was met at the gates of heaven by Lora, his wife of 52 years; a son, Donnie; his parents; three brothers, Louis, Floyd, and Marvin; and two sisters, Luella and Anna Marie, daughter in law Stacie Backhaus.
Funeral services will be Friday, July 17 at 10 a.m. in The First Christian Church of Newkirk with the Rev. Shannon Grubbs, minister of the First Christian Church of Moore officiating. The family requests of those attending, please wear masks. Interment will follow in the Newkirk Cemetery under the direction of Grace Memorial Chapel. The body will lie in state at the funeral home Thursday from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. The casket will not be opened the day of the service.
Grandsons serving as casket bearers will be Mark Yockey, Clay Yockey, Clint Loghry, Chad Cartwright, Mike Backhaus and Christopher Backhaus.
Those wishing to may remember Paul Backhaus with a contribution in his name to a charity of choice.
Online condolences are available thru www.gracememorialchapel.net