Willard L. Choate was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma on November 25, 1934, an only child of Robert L. Choate and Jessie A. (Moore) Choate. The Lord called him home on Sunday, March 1, 2015 in Anadarko, Oklahoma.
Willard grew up in Chickasha, graduating from Chickasha High School in 1954. He married Burdette Smith on June 5, 1957 in Chickasha. He often reflected to Burdette that his love for her was immeasurable, and that she was the love of his life, lifting his spirits when they needed to be lifted, smiling to brighten his day, and helping to create a very happy home.
Willard joined the U.S. Air Force in 1957 and served until 1961. He was stationed in Roswell, New Mexico and he and Burdette lived there for eight years, where he and a friend owned and operated Valley Rare Coin Company. They then moved back to Oklahoma, living in Oklahoma City, where he was employed by the Oklahoma City Fish and Game Department, and later transitioned into working for the Oklahoma City Police Department, retiring in 1977. He was a supervising instructor of CLEET. They then built their retirement home on a small acreage near Anadarko and he began to work for District Judge David Powell, retiring after ten years.
Willard was an avid Indianhead and artifacts hunter and collector and he loved fishing. He also was a skilled pistol marksman, winning a National Championship for Combat Shooting. He set and broke many records in silhouette shooting, as well, winning several trophies and guns. He enjoyed being involved in the life of his favorite niece, Lindsey Brooke Bandy, who tragically died at the early age of 17 years old.
He was preceded in death by his parents, niece, Lindsey Brooke Bandy, and sister-in-law, Debbie Dean Bandy Cochran.
Survivors include his wife, Burdette Choate, of the home; cousins, Jim Calhoun and his wife, Carol of Mustang and Bob Calhoun and his wife, Peggy of Mustang; as well as other extended family and friends.
Cremation arrangements and interment at Rose Hill Cemetery are under the direction of Ferguson Funeral Home.