George Calvin Gragg

George Calvin Gragg

 George Calvin Gragg died January 28, 2021, at the age of 96 at The Fountains of Canterbury Assisted Living in Oklahoma City.

He was born October 3, 1924 at Hartshorne, OK, and lived there for much of his life. He founded Cal Drug in Hartshorne, working as a pharmacist until his retirement. He was a math teacher in Hartshorne for 14 years before his pharmacy career. Throughout his adult life he always was proud to be a farmer also.

 He was survived by his wife of 73 years, Margaret Elizabeth (Thompson) Gragg, who died February 15, 2021. 

 His parents were Mae Belle (Barnes) Gragg and Lora George Gragg, and he had three siblings, Johnie, Estella and Lorraine. Estella Gragg Hoey, 94, of Gilroy, CA, is the only survivor of that family. A stepbrother, Nelson Eugene Dickenson, was raised by Mae Gragg after she married Nelson Dickenson years after Lora Gragg’s death in 1928 as a result of World War I injuries.

 Gragg graduated from Hartshorne High School in 1942. Following the lead of his brother, Johnie, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, both serving in the Pacific Theater in World War II.

 After the war, he met Margaret Elizabeth Thompson in Hartshorne where her father raised cattle in Blue Valley for a brief time. He and Margaret were married in Albuquerque, NM, November 11, 1947. Their first child, Donna Louise, was born in Gilroy, CA, in 1948. They soon returned to Oklahoma to raise their family. Gragg used the GI Bill to continue his education while supporting his growing family. Johnie Calvin Gragg was born in 1950 and Fred Michael Gragg was born in 1953. After he obtained teaching credentials at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, he moved to Hartshorne as a junior high school teacher. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education at Oklahoma State University.

 The urge to improve his family’s life led him to complete a degree in Pharmacy at the University of Oklahoma in 1966. He worked for several pharmacy businesses before resettling in Hartshorne and opening his own drugstore, Cal Drug.

 He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hartshorne and of the Masonic Lodge.

 His heart was always in the farming life. In Hartshorne he worked over the years to build a ranch in Blue Valley, starting with the initial Gragg farmland abandoned years earlier. He poured a lot of his limited free time into quarter horse racing for a number of years. Later he applied a lot of time and energy into genealogy with his wife, researching Gragg, Barnes, Thompson and Littlejohn family history.

 At 86, he and his wife moved to El Dorado, KS, to be near their son, Johnie Gragg, and family. While there he enjoyed gardening and was a member of First Southern Baptist Church of El Dorado. In 2018, he and his wife moved to Oklahoma City to live with their daughter for a time, then settled in at The Fountains.

 His survivors are his children and spouses, Donna and Eugene Steinberg of Oklahoma City; Johnie and Donna Elaine Gragg of El Dorado, KS, and Fred and Connie Gragg of Humble, TX. Grandchildren and spouses are Julianne (Gragg) and Greg Dunn, Edmond; Melynda (Gragg) and Mark Wint, recently returned to Southern Baptist mission work in Africa; Brady and Krista Gragg, Whitewater, KS, and Elizabeth Steinberg and Nicholas Thomson of San Francisco, CA, and Susannah Steinberg and Jeffrey Ghere, of Los Angeles, CA.

Great-grandchildren are the Dunn children, Hope, Ruth Anne, Jonathan, Elliot, Leila, Delilah and Justus. Also Madylanne, Matthew and Micah Wint; Rachel and Calvin Gragg of Whitewater, and Cora Thomson of San Francisco. He also became “Grandpa Gragg” to Kerri and Ryan Smith, Bailey and Colton, of El Dorado, KS, and Kevin and Nicole Frech, Hunter and Miranda, of Burns Flat, and Shannon Pfeiffer, Kylee and Trey, Humble, TX, and Connie Gragg’s late daughter, Laura.

 In addition to his sister, Estella Gragg Hoey, Gilroy, CA, and brother, Nelson Eugene Dickenson and wife Sue, Hartshorne, survivors include Jessie Gragg, the wife of his younger brother, Lorraine, of Hartshorne. He was “Uncle Calvin” to nieces and nephews too numerous to list.

 The family is grateful to dedicated caregivers Denise Stephens and Carol Feaster, who were devoted to him in his last two years. A Celebration of Life is being planned to honor him and his wife, Margaret, who died February 15. 

Published on April 17, 2021