A memorial service for James David "Dave" Gwaltney will be held Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 2pm at 16882 SE Woodlawn, Lawton, OK. (the family home).
Vietnam veteran James David “Dave” Gwaltney departed this life for the next on December 29, 2020. He was born on September 28, 1949 and raised by his parents, Rachel Louise (Griggs) & David Dewey Gwaltney.
Dave grew up in Lakeland, FL. where he attended grade school and played football at Kathleen High School. He joined the U.S. Army in 1968 and married Rebecca “Becky” Hedgcock on March 7, 1968 with whom he was married to for 41 years. Rebecca brought to their marriage Nancy Michele “Missy” whom Dave adored as his only child.
SFC (E-7) James (Dave) Gwaltney served his country honorably for 20 years, in the Communications field. While serving, he earned the following military accolades:
National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ Second Oak Leaf Cluster, Two Overseas Service Bars, Vietnam Service Medal w/Five Service Stars, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/Palm, Army Good Conduct Medal-6, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 3, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon-3 and Expert (rifle M-16)
Dave and Becky retired from military life in 1987 and settled in Lawton, OK. He studied at Cameron University and worked as a locksmith at Jeff’s Keys & Safe Shop. When Dave permanently retired, he chose to be paid-in-love as dad & Papa.
Dave thoroughly enjoyed going to the Casinos and playing bingo and was considered the Bingo King at the VA Center. Photography was a favorite hobby, which he passed on to his daughter Missy. His other passions were playing chess & bowling. He loved listening to music, to include a few of his favorites, Marty Robbins and Elvis; and could be found singing “In the Ghetto”, among other songs to Missy. He also loved “good food” from Trappers in OKC, for their oysters on the half shell; Mutti’s in Lawton, for their German Food and The Olive Garden. His favorite football team (other than great-grandson Payton’s team) was the Green Bay Packers. His best sports seats were ANYWHERE great-grandson Payton was playing football or soccer! And when great-grandson Prestyn played sports, he was right there cheering him on as well! Being with family and friends, especially the Spencer’s numerous “get-togethers”, brought him great joy.
He leaves to cherish his memory a devoted daughter, Nancy Michele “Missy” Spencer, husband, James - Lawton, OK; loving granddaughter, Brandi Lopez - Lawton, OK; great-grandsons, Payton Spencer, Prestyn Spencer and Pryor Spencer-Jirtle - Lawton, OK; mother, Rachel Griggs Knight – FL. brother, William “Billy” Berry, wife, Gina - FL, sister, Mara Esquia -FL, sister, Darlene Nunez, husband, Rito - FL, sister, Tina Browne, husband, Paul - FL and brother, Lelton “Al” Gardner, wife, Mary - Enid, OK.
Extended family: Lisa Thomas - Elk City, OK, Daisy Mayer, husband, Chris – Lawton, OK. Aiden and Amalia Mayer – Lawton, OK. Shelby Chidester, husband, David - Lawton, OK, LaQuinta Santos - Lawton, OK , Hector Becerra - Edmond, OK, Gabby Estrada - Lawton, OK LaReyna Gomez, husband, Arturo, Gael and Gabriel Gomez - TX, Denise Higgins - Lawton, OK, Savannah Diehl, husband Justin, Kami Brannam and Bryson Grooms - Lawton, OK, Michael Bowman, Dominic and MaKayela Bowman - Wichita, KS, Marcilene Martin, husband, Terry, RayLynn Martin - Wichita, KS, & Samantha Jane Stevens-Krobath - Lawton, OK – Alvin Dempsey, Lawton, OK. - Mark, Adam, Britney, Evie, Bridgette, Ashley Mechanic – Lawton, OK. Tim Shaw – Mid West City, OK. and much appreciated caregiver, Donna Harris – Lawton, OK.
He was preceded in death by his father; stepmother Betty and his much-loved stepmother Lillian; his wife; granddaughter, Rebecca Marie Lyle and bonus granddaughter, Angelina Estrada; sister, Sheila Maguire and brother, Cody Gardner.
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