Joe Mack McCleskey

Joe Mack McCleskey
Joe Mack McCleskey

Joe Mack McCleskey, 85, of Ringling, Oklahoma passed away on January 4, 2023, in Ardmore, Oklahoma.


Funeral Services are scheduled for at 2:00 P.M., Tuesday, January 10, 2023, at

Ringling United Methodist Church in Ringling, Oklahoma with Rev. Gary Gunsolus and Rev. Les Bussell officiating. Burial will immediately follow at Ringling Memorial Cemetery.


Joe was born to Ruth and Howell Lyon McCleskey in Dalhart, Texas. He grew up in Dalhart and attended Texas Tech University before returning to the family agribusiness.


Joe relocated in 1980 to Ringling, Oklahoma upon McCleskey Cattle Co.’s acquisition of the Three Stripe Ranch. Joe married Linda Gunsolus McKown on February 14, 1996, in Ardmore, Oklahoma–a marriage to be admired by all. Joe was a member of Ringling United Methodist Church, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and Texas Cattle Feeders Association. For most of his life, he bred, rounded up, roped, chased, wrestled, and cajoled cattle. He was the original cowboy, having grown up in the ranching/farming tradition–3 generations in the Texas Panhandle. Joe trained in judo, was in a bowling league in his early days, and played bridge. At one time, he was an auctioneer and a deputy sheriff. He was also an armchair expert on football and professional bull riding and earned ‘Grandfather Best in Class’. Joe lived life his way. He most certainly earned his place at the head of the table and delighted when that table was filled with his family.


He is survived by his wife, Linda, of the home; daughters, Kimberly Dryden (Don Nixon), and Leslie Joe Cunningham (Craig) both of Amarillo; brother, Jack McCleskey (Sondra) of Portland, Oregon; grandchildren, Katherine Smith (Craig) of Orangeburg, South Carolina, and Matthew Lyon Dryden of Las Vegas, Nevada; great-grandchildren, Lyon Smith and Dryden Mack Smith of Orangeburg, South Carolina; step-son, Michael McKown (Alonie) of Yukon, OK; step-grandchildren, Jonathan Cunningham (Kristen) of Fort Worth, TX; Alex Eubanks (Chad), and Levi McKown (Kennedy), both of Ardmore, OK.


Serving as casket bearers will be Matthew Dryden, Levi McKown, Craig Cunningham, Don Nixon, Craig Smith, and Chad Eubanks.


Honorary casket bearers will be Charlie Foster, Bob Earl Stewart, Biff Jackson, Mike Moore, all of the Methodist men, and the R&J’s coffee drinkers.


The family will receive friends for a visitation from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M., Monday, January 9, 2023, at Alexander Gray Funeral Home in Ringling, Oklahoma.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to: Ringling United Methodist Church/Methodist Men, 118 West H St., Ringling, OK 73456.

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