Cover photo for John Tatum's Obituary
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1941 John 2022

John Tatum

February 16, 1941 — August 11, 2022


February 16, 1941 - August 11, 2022

John E. Tatum passed away peacefully after a long battle with advanced stages of Parkinson's Disease on August 11, 2022. John was born February 16, 1941 in Fairfield, Illinois to Alma Lavelle Owen Tatum and T. H. Tatum. John grew up in Heavener, Oklahoma and graduated from Heavener High School in 1959. John was a gifted athlete and earned a full scholarship to the University of Oklahoma where he played for the famous football coach Bud Wilkinson as both center and middle-linebacker from 1959 to 1963. He graduated from O.U. majoring in Zoology and Pre-Med classes. He earned his Masters Degree of Education from Central Oklahoma University in Edmond, Oklahoma.

He taught Biology and coached football and baseball for 7 years before entering the insurance business with Farm Bureau as an agent in Durant, Oklahoma. John retired as Chief Operating Officer of Farm Bureau Mutual in 2005. John is survived by his wife Nancy Jean of Wickenburg, Arizona, 2 sons; John Mark and Robert Loyd Tatum, step-daughter Monica Bolin, step-son Sam Steele Marshall, step-daughters; Penny Dee Marshall-Bigelow and Marilee Marshall-Dose, 2 granddaughters; Kelsey Tatum Mason and Isabella Dianna Tatum, 1 great-grandson Baker Owen Mason and 7 step-grandchildren: Summerslee and Sterling Latham, Davis Bigelow and Daryan Marshall, Myla Batchelder, Digby Rose Marshall and Dipper Steele Marshall and 2 nieces; Pam Cox and Shirley James. John was preceded in death by both his mother and father, his grandson, Jake Tatum and sister Peggy Lewellyn "Lou" Gartner. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Dowden-Roberts Funeral Home in Heavener, Oklahoma.
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