As the first grand son on both sides he was doted on. His Paternal Grandparents gave him the nickname of Peanut because of his minute size when he was born. Altho, Jr. continued to carry the nickname of Peanut it ceased to be a name referring to his size and was just a nickname of endearment. Peanut quickly outgrew everything. He was quite the tyke and by the age of 10 was clearly gaining on his mother. It was during his early teen-aged years that his mom brought home his baby cousin Marty to be his little brother. Of course there was adjusting that needed to happen but one thing for sure, Marty was his little brother and Family was to be protected at all costs. Sure, life was crazy and Marty was treated like any other little brother, the teasing and picking sometimes never stopped, but don't let an outsider start something because Jr. was there in a heart beat.
When Jr was a teen he got his first car. Bo and Luke Duke had nothing on him. Getting to spend most of his time down at Mazie's Landing and Mission Bend the roads and open fields were his playground. He marked his territory with tire tracks on the roads or embedded in the fields. Jr. Graduated from Catoosa High School in 1978. It was during this time that his talent at the Pool Table started earning him play money.
Just like a young Minnesota Fats, Jr learned the magic of the hustle. His smile was infectious and he soon started taking his little brother or his cousins out to the pool halls, all with the permission of the adults who happened to be in charge. This is where the hustle began, he would spend time teaching his new protege how to strike the cue ball and knock another ball into the pocket. Before long a bystander would want to take the table and Jr would get them to make a wager. The young ones would start the game. Then the challenger might get one or even two balls into the pockets. Then Jr. would step up and the game was over. He would proceed to knock every single ball in and clear the table. Once in a while the challenger would catch on to the hustle and Jr on at least two occasions grabbed the cousin under his arm and high tailed it out the door before blood was shed. Of course the greenbacks made it out the door as well, either held tightly in his fist or stuffed in his pocket.
Jr. enjoyed and embraced life with gusto. He was passionate about family and lived by a code, that one should always stand up and take care of family, that code also was for Jr's friends... if it required knocking a few heads together he was front and center willing to do the knocking.
Jr spent years doing odd jobs here and there never really landing in a particular position. He did work as a bouncer on more than one occasion. The Peanut had grown into a man that could intimidate the fiercest brawler. But he had that smile the one that landed on more than just in the up turned curve of his mouth but it reflected in his eyes.
It was that smile that caught the eye of a Nurse. Nurse Karen. Jr.and Karen quickly became an item and before long they moved in together. Even before he Married Karen he became Mr Mom to her two daughters Jennifer and Kara. He was tough and taught the girls to be tough. Then on November 22, 1990 his life forever changed, his daughter Lauren Michelle arrived into the world. She was the light of his life. She was a tough one as well and he taught her and her sisters to be some of the best softball players in the country.
Though out his life Jr. Struggled with addictions. Those addictions often landed him into trouble but the one anchor of his life was the love he had for his little girl.
When Lauren became a teen she began struggling with debilitating health issues and after months even years of medical issues she died Jan. 4, 2007, in Wagoner at the age of 16. The light of Jr.s life became only a smolder.
Depression can have horrible consequences for those that struggle with addictions. For Jr, It was not just the addictions but the havoc he took on his body with years of abuse and also having diabetes that caused many medical emergencies. After years of depression and continued struggles with addictions the glowing embers of his life got doused when his wife Karen passed away at home Feburary 6, 2013.
Since the passing of his wife Jr had been in and out of the hospital more than a dozen times. He would try to be happy but his heart was broken. When the doctors would tell him something he didn't want to hear he would fire them and check himself out.
During his last stay at the hospital the Doctors told him he needed to have his leg amputated. Jr. was tired, he didn't want them cutting on him any more. The day before he died he decided to allow the doctors to remove the infected leg. He was looking for the quality of life he had left not the quantity. He really didn't want the surgery, what he wanted was to be with his wife and child. God granted him his request. Jr peacefully left this world in the early morning hours on December 6, 2014.