David Lee Houchen, 85, passed away on September 13, 2023 surrounded by his family at Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, TX. David was born on December 24, 1937 in the Apple community of Spencerville, OK to Melvin and Ruth (Drake) Houchen.
David bounced back and forth from Houston to Hugo during his formative years, eventually finishing high school with the Hugo Buffalos in 1957. He dedicated his life to the railroad, where he worked as an engineer for the Frisco, Burlington Northern, and Montana Rail Link companies. His passion for the railways ran deep, and he was known for his unwavering commitment to ensuring safe and efficient travel for countless passengers and cargo over the years. His dedication to his profession was a testament to his strong work ethic and his deep sense of responsibility.
In his earlier years, David owned and operated a Gulf service station in Houston. He was a pillar of the community, known for his friendly smile and willingness to lend a helping hand to anyone in need.
Beyond the tracks, David had a love for the great outdoors that was truly unparalleled. He was a true renaissance man, finding joy in diverse pursuits. His love for horses led him to the world of farming and ranching, where he cultivated the land and nurtured animals with the same tenderness and care that he showed to his family. Buck, the cutting horse and Joker, his rambunctious steed brought countless hours of joy and connection with others.
Gardening was another passion that allowed David to connect with the earth, tending to vibrant flowers and bountiful vegetables that reflected his nurturing spirit. His green thumb was legendary, and his garden was a haven of beauty and solace.
At the prime age of 50 years, David eagerly embraced the opportunity to hit the slopes, both snow skiing and cross-country skiing. The thrill of the mountains brought him immense joy, and he shared these adventures with friends and family, creating memories that will forever be cherished.
As seasoned travelers, David and Carol, with their loyal canine companion, little Casy, explored the United States together with an open heart and an adventurous spirit. The bond between man and dog was a testament to the unconditional love and loyalty they shared, bringing immeasurable joy and companionship to his life. They were known to share a fond appreciation for frog legs and Arby's roast beef.
In the quiet moments, David found solace in the art of rifle hunting for elk and antelope. These hunting trips in Alaska and Montana were not just about the pursuit of game but about connecting with nature and relishing the camaraderie of friends and family who shared in the pursuit.
David also had a deep appreciation for the soulful melodies of bluegrass music. The twang of a banjo or the harmonious chords of a fiddle brought a special kind of joy to his heart. He often found himself tapping his foot to the rhythm and sharing his love for this unique genre with others.
David's passing leaves a void that can never be filled, but his legacy of love, passion, and adventure will continue to inspire us all. He will always be fondly remembered as the coolest Dad to EVER walk the planet in the eyes of his children.
Preceded in death by his parents, wife of 48 years, Carol Houchen, brother William Houchen.
David Lee is survived by his loving family, including Emily Whitbeck and husband Mike of Hugo, OK and their son Blake Whitbeck and wife Hollie; Howard Houchen and wife Jeannie of Hugo, OK and their children Collin Houchen and wife Kristen, Jared Houchen; Tami Myers and husband Ray of Whitewright, TX and their children Jesse & Staci Myers; Kenny Davis and wife Lori of Farmersville, TX and their children Baylee Hughes, Byron Powell, Mendy Anthony, and Jake Davis; David Davis and wife Lanette of Blue Ridge, TX and their children Dillon and Kalina Davis; Numerous great Grandchildren; sister Jean Forbus; brother Kenneth Houchen and wife Janet; mother of Emily & Howard, Gerene Taylor. His memory will live on in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of knowing him.
Friends and family are invited to gather at the Prater Lampton Mills & Coffey Funeral Home Chapel on Friday evening, September 15, 2023 for an informal visitation from 5:00-7:00PM.
A brief funeral service will be at the Bill Darrough Pavilion at the Mt Olivet Cemetery at 11AM on Saturday, September 16, 2023 with Family sharing personal remarks & stories.
Burial will follow at the Mt Olivet Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Dillon, Jake, Jesse, Blake, Collin, and Jared.
Memorials and Online condolences can be made online at praterlampton.com. Funeral arrangements were trusted to Prater-Lampton-Mills & Coffey Funeral Home, 216 E Jackson Hugo, OK 74743, (580) 326-6464.