He attended school in Hugo until he left high school to serve in the US Army during WWII. He served from Sept. 19, 1946 until March 30, 1948. After two months as a Private in basic training, he was promoted to SGT for 15 months where he was over the Military Policemen in occupied territory. He was in charge of enforcing military laws, regulations, maintaining order and also handling traffic. During this time he received the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal Japan.
Upon returning, he enlisted as Sergeant in CMP Reserve where he was allowed to return to Hugo to resume his senior year of education from Hugo High School in 1949. While in Hugo he was always there for his large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. On one occasion he drove his uncle and aunt to Blair, OK, where they were to visit his aunt's sister, and met the love of his life and soul mate, Wanda June Jones. They were married shortly after on December 18, 1949 and they celebrated their 62nd anniversary this past December.
Wanda June Jones was the daughter of Russell Jones and Juanita (Jennings) Jones. After David and Junes wedding, they moved to Hugo for a few months and then came back to Blair where he was given the Manager position at the Blair Valley Feed and Seed Store.
This was short lived for he was called back to active duty on October 20, 1950 where he went to fight in the Korean War. He served his country until he got an Honorable Discharge on March 26, 1952. His job during his active duty time was to be Sergeant over the Machine Gun Section. During this time, on Feb. 4, 1951, he was wounded with a gunshot to the right arm and right chest in Chongu, Korea. He was transferred to Tokyo, Japan to begin his recuperation period for 8 months. While there he would dictate letters to be sent to his wife to make sure he stayed in contact since he could not write them himself.
During the Korean War he received the Korean Service Medal, Bronze Service, the Purple Heart, and the Chinese Communist Forces Intervention Campaign-Combat Infantry Badge.
Upon returning to Blair, he was able to secure a job with the Oklahoma Transportation Commission out of Oklahoma City where he worked with the survey team. Their duties included surveying the land to build the highway to Quartz Mountain State Park and the Lodge. There are many stories of his encounters with snakes in the mountains during this job that his friends would bring up and have a big laugh at.
He was able to land a job on March 9, 1954 with Altus Air Force Base where he gave 40 amazing years of service. During his 40 years, he won Civilian First Level Supervisor of the Quarter numerous times. He was supervisor of the Storage and Issue Section, 443 Supply Squadron. He was held in high regards from his supporters, peers and staff as someone they could always call and depend on. He was quoted saying he saw Altus Air Force Base evolve from the reactivated WWII Army Air Field with dirt streets and buildings without insulation to the modern, ever improving Air Base it was when he retired and continues to be.
He was an active member of First United Methodist Church of Altus where he was very proud of his commitment to the church and its growth. Upon joining, with his wife, in November of 1953, he served in many capacities and worked hard to secure the church's growth by serving on numerous committees. Some of them were Council on Ministries, the Administrative Board, Men of Integrity, and the Purpose Driven Leadership Board. He was an active member of the Fellowship Sunday School Class and enjoyed being a part of the Ball Group where he served as president, as well as being a member of numerous Bible study groups. He often stood at the door where he was a Greeter to the many members and visitors that came through the doors.
David was an active member of Elks Club and Altus Golf and Country Club individually for many years and remained a member when they merged as one. He enjoyed golfing and spending evenings with family and friends.
He was a proud member of his heritage, being a member of the Choctaw Indian Tribe along with all of his family and felt, as did his father, that all of his grandchildren should become members also.
Favorite things in life were spending time with his family and friends on holidays and on group vacations and later in life spending and sharing time at the family cabin at Lake Altus. He enjoyed sitting on the tip of the mountain on his deck greeting everyone coming and going. He was proud of being very active in Altus All Sports Association where he was selected as Coach of the Week and an active parent supporter for That Altus Band. He took great pride in being a part of the committee that helped to pick the best players at the Shortgrass Basketball Tournament in Altus. He loved all sporting events.
He is preceded in death by his son, David Wayne Self and one brother-in-law, Billy Holmes.
David is survived by his wife of the home; son, Ricky Dean Self of New York City, who relocated home this past year to help aid in David's care; daughter-in-law, Donna Wiginton Self of Altus, OK; granddaughter, Jennifer Janae Self Burrow and husband Dustin and two great grandsons, Byke David Burrow and Racer Scott Burrow all of Altus; sister, Rosetta Holmes of Roswell, NM; brother-in-law, Tommy Dean Jones of Altus; and special friends, Nancy Tims of Altus and Bobbie Lee Jones of Huntington Beach, CA. He was always proud of his nieces and nephews, Kendall Holmes, Toby Holmes, Kim Jones Tanner, Wendy Jones, Jeff Jones and Phillip Jones.
He had a great love for their dog, Chief Whistler and his Grand Dog, Lady Charlemagne (Charlie).
Along with many cousins and friends he is survived by a very special lady, Lisa Tinsley, who helped aid in his care and also the numerous special people at Jackson County Home Care.
The family will receive guests on Sunday afternoon from 3:00 pm until 4:30 pm at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home.
Memorial services have been scheduled for 2:00 pm Monday, February 6, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church with Reverend David Player and Johnney Morrow officiating. Lowell-Tims Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be make to The United Methodist Church Altus, Oklahoma.
On-line tributes can be made to the family at www.lowell-tims.com
First United Methodist Church
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