Donald R. Lightner, 77, passed away early Tuesday morning, October 6, 2015 from natural causes.
He was born to Everet Lee and Lillie Boggs Lightner on February 7, 1938 his father's 28th Birthday in Norman. He was the second child (only son), had three sisters. His family moved to Glenpool in 1950, where they operated Lightner Grocery.
Donald worked at the family grocery store after school from 8th grade through high school. He dearly loved the older citizens, especially delivering their groceries and newspapers during his high school days, mostly on his bicycle.
It was during his school years at Glenpool that Donald met the love of his life, Lovella Keeton.
Donald and Lovella were married on February 15, 1957, at Airview Assembly of God Church by the Rev. F.C. Cornell. They built their home in Glenpool and were blessed with two wonderful children, Eddie and Becky, both attending and graduating from Glenpool High School.
Donald began working for Wonder Bread while still in high school and retired after 30 years. While still working at Wonder Bread Donald saw the need in his community for HVAC and decided to learn the trade and teach it to his son. Through hard work at both careers, he developed his HVAC business, Lightner Heat and Air, to the point that it would support his retirement from Wonder Bread at age 50.
Donald's strong work ethic grew what began as a hobby into a successful business that employed 60 people at its height and was a staple in the community for nearly 30 years. Even after a devastating fire in 2004 completely destroyed the original building in Glenpool, bringing business to a standstill, Donald's determination and tenacity allowed him to rebuild and reopen Lightner Heat and Air and continue to serve the community.
He was a well-known businessman, known for his honesty, generosity and constant willingness to lend a helping hand. Donald was very active in the Glenpool community and instrumental in organizing many community projects that continue today. Among his many accomplishments, he sponsored and organized the first little league baseball teams in Glenpool, was Scout Master for Boy Scout Troop #188 and served as President of the Glenpool Lions Club during their Rodeo days. He served ten years on the Glenpool School Board, during which time football was restored to Glenpool; once he left the Board he continued to be active with the Glenpool School Alumni Association. He also served several years on the Community Advisory Board of Directors for BancFirst in Glenpool and Jenks. Through all of his many endeavors, he was most thankful for his time with the Volunteer Fire Department in the late '50s - '60s.
Donald was an active member of New Spring Family Church, formerly Airview Tabernacle Assembly of God, and served as both Trustee and Deacon. Although loud, boisterous and a friend of all, Donald's greatest accomplishment and pleasure was quietly helping someone in need, which he did often, without hesitation.
Donald is survived by his wife of 58 years, Lovella; son, Ed Lightner and wife, Connie, of Glenpool; daughter, Becky Burney and husband, Bo, of Hoffman; four granddaughters, Alissa Poynor and husband, Brek, of Boston, MA, Kari VanHoose and husband, Isaac, of Virginia Beach, VA, Kaci Lightner, of Oklahoma City, Ashley Burney, of Glenpool; one grandson, Aaron Burney and fianc, Skylar Wholaver, of Hoffman; Four great-grandchildren, Oliver and Caroline Poynor, and Elijah and Lovella VanHoose; three sisters, Barbara Hamilton, of Oklahoma City, Opal Bledsoe, of Tulsa, Karen Smith, of Bixby; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as church and business friends.
Donald had a passion for giving to others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the New Spring Family Church youth facility.
Services are planned for 2 p.m. Friday, October 9, 2015, at NewSpring Family Church with interment at Green Hills Memorial Gardens. Arrangements entrusted to Schaudt's Glenpool Funeral Service & Cremation Care. Family and friends may view the obituary and send condolences to the family online at www.schaudtfuneralservice.com