Roland Dean Lankford, 83, of Amarillo, TX passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The family has chosen cremation. A Celebration of Life will be held at his favorite fishing lake later this summer. Roland was born August 25, 1935 to Grover “Frank” and Irene (Fowler) Lankford in Martha, OK. He graduated Blair H.S. in 1953. As a teenager Roland worked as a linotype operator at the Blair Enterprise newspaper in Blair, OK and later moved to the Altus Times in Altus, OK. He married Nelda Jean Bright in Lone Wolf, OK in 1960. They were married for 59 years on Feb 14, 2019. Roland served with honor for 6 years with the 45th infantry division, 1st battalion, 171st field artillery of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. In 1966-67, he and his wife, Nelda, were house parents at Oklahoma Methodist Boys Ranch in Gore, OK; 1967-72, assistant director at Memphis Boys Town in Ellendale, TN; purchased the Blair Enterprise in 1972 and owned until 1979; in 1981 he became the graphic arts instructor at Western Oklahoma State College in Altus, OK until his retirement in 1998. He was a member of Saint Stephen United Methodist Church in Amarillo, TX. He was also a member of the Blair and Altus, OK, Masonic Lodges for 62 years, Blair Lions Club, Oklahoma Retired Educators Association and a retired member of the Blair Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. Lankford was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Phillip Lankford; sister, DeErma Tippie; brothers-in-law, J.W. “Dub” Tippie, Gerald Wayne Nipp, and Robert Bright. Roland is survived by his wife, Nelda, of the home; two children, Tim Lankford and wife Debbie of Tuttle, OK, and Tammy Reed and husband Ken of Amarillo, TX; grandsons, Logan Reed of NYC, NY, Landon Reed of Amarillo, TX, and Wyatt Lankford of Nashville, TN; granddaughters, Alyssa Ivy and husband Mark of OKC, OK and Mallori Baxter and husband Stuart of Azle, TX; two great grandchildren, Evelyn June Ivy and Hayden Baxter; one sister, JoReta Nipp of Amarillo, TX; sisters-in-law, Mary Lankford of Altus, OK and Linda Bright of OKC, OK; brother-in-law, William Bright and wife Sheryl of Coon Rapids, MN and many other loving relatives and friends. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to a favorite charity.
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