Saturday, June 12, 2021 is the Celebration of life service for Anton R. (Tony) Vencl, 92, longtime farmer/rancher of Garber. Burial will follow at the White Cemetery, Hunter. Tony was born March 23, 1929, on a farm southeast of Hunter to Ladd and Maude Barnett Vencl, and peacefully departed this life on June 6, 2021 in Enid, Oklahoma. He attended Rosewood Country School and then Garber High School graduating in 1947. Tony grew up on the banks of Red Rock Creek and the Salt Fork River, when spending time with his grandparents at Salt Fork, Oklahoma. In high school he was active in FFA, showing hogs and cattle at local, state and regional livestock shows. In 1945 he along with a group of Garber FFA boys and legendary advisor Benton Thomason, loaded their show animals and enough feed for several days onto a train at Garber enroute to the American Royal in Kansas City. The boys were supposed to ride and sleep in a passenger car, but chose instead to ride in the freight car with their animals. While there his Duroc hog trio won reserve grand champion. In 1946 his Hereford steer was awarded grand champion at the Tulsa livestock show. In the summer of that year he went by train to Chicago to spend time with his uncle Robert Barnett. In 1947 he began farming, until he was inducted into the United States Army in 1952. He served for 14 months in Korea, in the 1st Field Observation Battalion. Growing up in a Czech household where rice was not a common food staple, he often referred to the amount of rice he consumed in Korea was “enough for a lifetime”. Just prior to his Army service, he married Lora Rowe on July 20, 1952 at the Garber Christian Church. Upon his return to the United States, Lora presented him with the keys to a new 1954 Ford car.
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At this time he resumed farming with his dad and has remained a farmer and cattleman in the Garber/Hunter area since then. Tony was convinced the best improvement of the 20th century was combine air conditioning. He worked for P.C. Davis in the late 1950’s building the Hunter school and then was a homebuilder from 1960 to 1985 building 40 homes in the area. He was particularly skilled in cabinet construction. He and Lora were longtime members of the Hunter Christian Church and in recent years became members of the Hunter United Methodist Church. Tony and Lora enjoyed dancing in their younger years including the jitterbug and square dancing. He enjoyed most all types of music especially big band and country music, but was not quite sure about hard rock. He enjoyed taking care of the land and his cattle, wheat harvests with his family, and following his children and grandchildren’s sports events, particularly four Garber State Championship games, in which grandchildren participated. He traveled around the state of Kansas watching his granddaughter play college softball. He shared a “military bond” with his grandson who joined the U.S. Air Force. He was deeply proud of each grandchild and their accomplishments. A highlight of every summer was a trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountains for trout fishing and jeep excursions into the high country. Any trip to Oklahoma City in later years required a stop at Cattlemen’s Restaurant, where he would reminisce about dining there decades earlier while attending livestock shows. He was very proud of his Czech heritage and was recently thrilled when the internet yielded information about his ancestry which was previously unknown.
Tony had the opportunity in April 2019 to travel with other Veterans to Washington D.C. on the 4th Oklahoma Warriors Honor Flight.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, brother Robert (Bob), and grandparents Marie Skarky Vencl, and Ray and Myrtle Barnett. Surviving family members include his wife of 68 years, Lora, son Wendell (Judy) Vencl, Garber, daughter Cindy (Darren) Koehn, Enid, son Greg (companion Terri) Vencl, Garber, Grandchildren Candace (Chris) Dally, Enid; Daryn (Kristen) Vencl, Edmond; Jared Vencl, Tuscon, AZ; Chase (Sarah) Vencl, Bixby; Shae (Ashli) Williams, Fate, TX; and Hayden (Lindsey) Vencl, Broken Arrow. Great Grandchildren are Kendyl and Kannon Dally, Camden and Madison Vencl, Emmalyn and Barrett Vencl, Lexington Williams, and Fletcher Vencl.
Memorials may be made to the White Cemetery at Hunter or the Hunter United Methodist Church with the funeral home as custodians.