The Carnegie Telephone family is saddened at the loss of Lyn Johnson. Lyn had served as President & CEO of the company for many years, in addition to working in many other roles here over the course of his lifetime. Lyn will definitely be missed, and we will always cherish the happy memories we had of him. His funeral will be held on Tuesday, September 17 at 11:00 AM at the First Baptist Church in Carnegie. Our offices will be closed that day so that our employees may attend the funeral.
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The OTA-The Oklahoma Rural Broadband Association presented two prestigious awards to two leaders in our community and company. Gary Woodruff, who passed away this January, was inducted into the Oklahoma Telephone Hall of Fame. Lyn Johnson was presented with the Bill Barnes Award by the OTA. The awards were presented at the OTA’s annual conference, which was held in St. Louis, MO, this week. We as a company are proud that the OTA honored these two fine men for their contribution both to this company and to the Carnegie community as a whole.
It is with great sadness that we pass on the news that Gary Lynn Woodruff has passed away.
The first of three children born to Melvin and Mary Fern Woodruff, Gary Lynn Woodruff was born Tuesday July 4th, 1950 in Elk City, Oklahoma. He left this world to enter his heavenly home Sunday January 20th, 2019 while on a bucket list trip with his wife Leslie to Australia and New Zealand. He died suddenly from a cardiac aneurysm at the age of 68.
Gary grew up on various farms in Cowden, Colony and Alfalfa. He helped with operations of the Woodruff family farm. He had two younger siblings, brother Alvin and sister Marita. When he wasn’t working on the dairy farm or attending school, Gary spent his free time at his Uncle Delbert Richey‘s gas station in nearby Cowden. They spent hours together working on cars, drinking soda pop, and discussing crops. He cherished his time with his Uncle. Farming was a constant enjoyment throughout his entire lifetime. Along with his father Melvin and family friends, Jim Shaw and Dick Phelps, he raised cattle and worked crops ranging from cotton and wheat to peanuts and soybeans. Gary attended school in Alfalfa until its closure at the conclusion of his sophomore year. He transferred to Carnegie High School where he graduated with the infamous class of ‘68. It was there where he met the love of his life and future bride, Leslie Johnson.
Gary married Leslie on August 21st, 1971 in the Carnegie First Baptist Church after they had dated for four years. They both finished their college degrees at Oklahoma State University. He accepted a position as quality supervisor at Dayton Tire Company and remained there until they made the decision to return to Carnegie in 1975 to help Leslie’s father operate the Carnegie Telephone Company after the death of her mother. A few years later they were joined by Leslie’s brother Lyn and wife Terri. Together they were the 4th generation of the James A. Wright family to own and operate the local telephone company. It has remained in the family for 98 years. At the time of his death Gary was President and CEO of the Carnegie Telephone Company, a position previously held by his brother-in-law and dearest friend Lyn. As a member of several state and national telecommunication organizations Gary looked forward to attending those meetings and reconnecting with associates he’d known for many years. Gary and Leslie were blessed with three children: Stefannye Lynn in 1975, Todd Robert in 1979 and Angela Deann, in 1983.
He loved to travel, especially on trips with his family. He was able to learn about culture in Peru and experience Machu Picchu, explore the Galapagos Islands, view and interact with giant whales on his many trips to Hawaii and witness the beauty of Alaska. He looked forward to escaping the cold weather every winter, hiding out in Key West, Florida and cruising the Caribbean. He had traveled through the original Panama Canal and had planned to return soon to see the new, larger locks. Most recently, he toured Sydney, Australia where he saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and had just begun a cruise to New Zealand. Gary developed a passion for golfing in college. He was able to meet some of the PGA greats like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Raymond Floyd. He attended PGA tournaments with family and friends. He looked forward to competing in the Oklahoma Telephone Association scramble every summer.
At the age of 51, Gary made a life changing profession of faith and was baptized shortly after. He was a dedicated member of First Baptist Church in Carnegie, where he was a member of Eldon Unruh’s Sunday School class.
In April 2018 Gary was diagnosed with lung cancer. His treatments at M.D. Anderson were effective and he was tolerating the side-effects quite well. His CT and PET scans taken on the day before he and Leslie began their New Zealand trip indicated “N.E.D” (no evidence of disease). He knew the protocol would be to continue his treatments, but was told by the doctors that he was in the best possible position to win his battle over the disease.
Gary is preceded in death by his father Melvin Francis Woodruff, his father-in-law Wesley Robert Johnson, and his mother-in-law Fannye Virginia Johnson. Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Leslie, his son, Todd Woodruff and wife, Christine, of Oklahoma City, daughters Stefannye Prange and husband Tye, of Leander, Texas, and Angela Hanes and husband, Ryan, of Round Rock, Texas, six grandchildren who were the absolute light of his life: Lilyeanne, Pierce, Grant and Faith Prange and Oliver and Elliot Hanes, his mother Mary Fern Woodruff, of Corn, his brother Alvin Woodruff and wife Anita of Watonga, his sister Marita McKee and husband Ronnie of Cordell and a host of other extended family. He will be laid to rest in the Carnegie Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials in Gary’s name to the First Baptist Church in Carnegie, Oklahoma or to the Gideon’s International.
Funeral Service: Thursday, January 31, 2019, 2:00 PM, Carnegie First Baptist Church
Viewing: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Ray & Martha’s Funeral Home, Carnegie, Oklahoma
Interment: Carnegie Cemetery, Carnegie, Oklahoma
Under the direction of Ray & Martha’s Funeral Home, Carnegie, Oklahoma
We get inquiries from people all of the time, asking us “when are you going to bring fast internet to us?” We are always looking to expand our service area, as well as enhance the services for the areas we’ve always served, such as Carnegie and Alfalfa. This summer, we began a project to bring fast internet to areas north and east of Fort Cobb Lake. We call this tower site “Doodlebug”, as it sits atop a small hill that resembles a doodlebug mound. When complete, we will be able to offer up to 50-mbps internet to people in Crows Roost, Swan Lake, Avery Addition, and parts of Fly Inn #2 which we previously did not serve. We will also be able to offer service to areas east of Fort Cobb Dam as well.
The project started with bringing Fiber Optic connectivity to the new tower site. We decided early on that we needed the almost unlimited capacity of a fiber optic line in order to provide the best internet experience to our new areas. We ran over 2.5 miles of fiber, ending up at the top of the hill where the tower would be built.
Next, we dug out for the foundation for the tower, and poured concrete to set it in place. After several weeks of waiting for the concrete to cure, we then enlisted the aid of our longtime tower climber, Leonard Smith, to help actually raise the tower. We did so section by section, 10 feet at a time, until we arrived at our final height of 55 feet.
Finally, we mounted several antennas and radios at the top of the tower, to provide coverage to the east and north.
Interested in REAL INTERNET for your Home or Business?
We will begin installing customers in our new service areas beginning in August, 2018. Call us to find out more, or click the Contact Us link at the top of the page. We look forward to making your internet experience a delight.
The open trench you see in the picture shows the path of where a new fiber-optic cable is being put into the ground. We are always looking to expand where we offer high-quality and affordable internet service, all with customer service from your neighbors. Check back here soon to see what areas are being covered by this new wireless service!
Springtime in Oklahoma usually means storms. This week didn’t disappoint as we repaired an antenna at the top of one of our towers. It got struck by a bolt of lightning early this morning. This equipment brings high-speed internet to areas west of Carnegie and north of Mountain View. We are expanding our services to new areas all of the time, so that more and more people in western Oklahoma can enjoy true broadband speeds.
We started working on bringing fiber optic internet & TV to areas around Carnegie almost two years ago. We are almost done with that project, with almost 750 homes & businesses now connected to one of the most state-of-the-art networks in Oklahoma. But… We still have to take down all of the old copper-based wires and cables up in the air, along with all of the old equipment we used to use! On May 31, we started the wreck-out process in earnest, right north of Main Street by the Nazarene Church. It’s going to take us all summer to tear down lines and clean up after ourselves
We have it on the tailgates of our trucks, and you’ve heard the Call Okie jingle on the radio a hundred times. We just can’t say how important it is for you to make sure there are no underground cables before you dig, trench, or do other excavation work on your property or on the highway or county right-of-way. Right before Memorial Day weekend, we had to repair a 25-pair cable that was accidentally cut by a contractor that didn’t call 811 to have us locate our lines. It’s not only a good idea, it’s the law. Oklahoma law requires anyone planning on digging or excavation to call for a locate of all underground facilities. It’s a quick, one-minute phone call, and it’s free. What’s not free is if you cut, even accidentally, a cable, water pipe, or electric line. Also, and most importantly, you are endangering your life. Underground power lines can kill in an instant. So just do the right thing… Call 811 before you dig!
Today our employees took a field trip to the Carnegie Elementary School to assist the fifth grade students in an experiment with their “egg drop” project. We were glad to help out in the name of science!