Landscapes 14


John Twyman

June 18, 1930 ~ March 25, 2019 (age 88)

John Twyman  was born June 18, 1930 in Trail Oklahoma. His father worked for the M K & T Railroad, and soon after John was born, the family moved to Hooker, Oklahoma. John’s mother was the daughter of a Baptist circuit riding preacher, and due to this, his mother made sure the family was in church every time the doors were open. 

John was the oldest of four children, himself and three sisters. At a very young age he would stand on a box and preach to his sisters. Then the girls would sing songs they had learned at church.

The family was transferred to Turpin, Oklahoma and lived in a rail car that had been converted into a house. Later on, they were transferred to Eva, Oklahoma where they lived very close to the railway. John developed a great fear of the old steam engines as they rumbled past the house. When he heard the train coming, he would gather his sisters together and hide behind the entry door of the house until the train passed by.

John and his sisters attended school at the White Hall School. One day the teacher, his sister Pat and a cute little girl named Velma Cline were in the outdoor toilet. John, being one who liked to play tricks on people, thought it would be funny to lock them in the outhouse. Velma always called him a smart-alec after that.

After finishing eighth grade John worked at different jobs like washing cars at the filling station, driving a school bus, and working for a farmer. Another man who worked for the same farmer had an old open cockpit biplane. This man took John for a ride in that airplane, and even though he lost his good hat, John had a burning desire to learn to fly.

John worked with his father on a small farm near Eva, and in 1947 they started a sand hauling business with an M Farm-all tractor and a Chevrolet truck. This business in time became Twyman Dirt Contractors and was operated by John and his three sons - Wayne, Mark, and Tom. The business was operated by three generations of Twymans until 1998. During that time they primarily constructed dams, leveled land for irrigation, dug pits, and built terraces in the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. 

On June 24, 1951 John married Velma Cline, the cute girl that had always called him a smart-alec. The day after Christmas of that same year, John built a fire in a bucket of diesel to warm up his D6 Caterpillar so he could get it started. After the Cat was started, he stood by the bucket to get warm, and as he was lighting his pipe for a smoke, his clothes caught on fire and he was badly burned. He lost the pipe in the accident and never smoked again after that. This event in John and Velma’s life encouraged them to seek the Lord and they gave their lives to Jesus and continued to live in the Christian faith. 

One of John’s dreams in life was to become a County Commissioner and build good roads. After losing two elections, he won the election in 1986 and served Cimarron County District 2 for 14 years. During this time, he built roads, upgraded most of the district’s equipment, and built a maintenance building sufficient to service the equipment of District 2 of Cimarron County.

John was a person who put other people’s needs before his own. In 1971 a man came to see John and offered to give 10 hours of flying lessons at a discount if he would pay in advance. Times were hard and money was not in great supply for John at that time, but after a while John decided to take the man up on his offer. As John proceeded to make out the check, he told the man the lessons would be for Wayne instead of himself. Later on, John was able to take lessons and got his license 30 years after his first ride in the biplane. He didn’t lose any more hats, just a shirt tail when he soloed. John really enjoyed the time he was able to fly.

John was not a person that enjoyed camping. Staying in a nice motel was roughing it enough for him, but when Mark and Tom were in FFA and went on the camping trips in Colorado, John went as a sponsor for the group and camped out. These camping events enabled John to experience the joys of camping with a group of teenage boys in a way he never dreamed possible. 

You haven't really known how to appreciate a good night’s sleep until you have laid down on 10,000 feet of rock that hasn’t thawed out since the ice age. You haven’t learned how to enjoy a quiet day fishing until you’ve had a couple of boys try to tip over the boat in water that was snow just a week ago. Oh, and if you really want to get your heart rate up, just wait till the sun is about down and find out one of the boys is missing and is still up on the mountain where you were earlier in the day. This would be a good time to mention that it takes a lot of supplies to keep group of boys like that going, so John made a trip to town most every day. One thing about camping, it's dirty work and John liked a bath every day.

John was not above pulling a trick on you and loved to visit at the coffee shop telling stories and jokes. One time a waitress filled his coffee cup right to the brim, and John said it wasn’t quite full. She then tipped the pot up and slowly poured coffee until it was standing above the rim, then she looked him in the eye and said, “There you go. Now drink all of that, and don’t you dare spill one drop of it on my table.” John sat there for a moment and then drank the coffee and none of it got on the table. 

John was light hearted and enjoyed having a good time, but he had a serious side too. When it came time to work, John always said that a job worth doing is worth doing right. He always expected his crew to do the job right even if it took more time than expected.  He was serious about not telling things about people that were not true - or even if it was true, you did not disrespect them by talking about it. 

If John believed in something, he supported it with enthusiasm and participation. The main one was his belief in Jesus as his Savior, and the church John worshiped in.  When it was time to worship the Lord, he was humble and serious about his relationship with Jesus. 

Another thing he believed in was the American Agriculture Movement. He drove a support vehicle in the tractor-cade to Washington D. C. The list of John's priorities would not be complete without including a short nap after lunch.

John Henry Twyman was born June 18, 1930 in Trail Oklahoma to George Porter Twyman and Jewel Edna Havens Twyman.  He passed away in Boise City on March 25th, 2019.  He is survived by his sister Yvonne White of Hutchinson, KS; children John Wayne and Alma Fay Twyman of Boise City, OK; LaVonna Carol and Dan Smith of Perry, OK; Kendall Mark and Marcy Twyman of Newcastle, OK; Thomas Edward and Deb Twyman of Boise City, OK; and Leona Beth and Alton Turner of Boise City, OK; 10 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.   He was preceded in death by his parents; 2 sisters, Iva Lee Palmer and Patricia Ohnick; his wife Velma Twyman; one-grandchild, Levi Turner; and 2 great-grandchildren, Hope Chestnut and Jaryn Dodson.  

Funeral services will be Saturday morning, March 30th, 10:00 AM at St. Paul Methodist Church,  400 E Main Street, Boise City, with grandsons, Pastor Nathan Twyman and Pastor Heath Twyman, officiating.  Interment will follow in Boise City Cemetery. 

Viewing will be Friday, March 29th, 9:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M. at Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, Boise City. 

Memorials may be given to the Methodist Student Center of OPSU or the Boise City Recreation Foundation, Community Swimming Pool Fund, c/o Henson-Novak Funeral Directors, P.O. Box 1306, Guymon, OK  73942.

Friends may sign the online guestbook and send condolences at

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