Charles Junior Collum, also known as “CJ” and “Pa,” passed into a new life with Christ on his birthday, May 30, 2020, at the age of 88. Funeral services have been entrusted to the care of Digthon-Marler Funeral Home of Stillwater.
CJ was born to Charles Raymond and Edith Francis (Sleuter) Collum in Bokchito, Oklahoma on May 30, 1932.
CJ served in the United States Army at the young age of 17. He returned from the army to marry his childhood sweetheart, Bessie Faye White, on March 18, 1950 in Clovis, New Mexico. He worked in the West Texas Oilfields for many years. He was commissioned to the country of Brazil as a liaison for Petro Oil Company to instruct the natives on drilling for oil in 1959.
After returning, he entered the trucking industry and was eventually transferred to Oklahoma. It was there he began his passion of farming and ranching in Perkins in 1967. CJ began farming alfalfa and peanuts, becoming the largest peanut grower in Payne County. He was known by many as the “Peanut Man.” He often hired his grandchildren, as well as their friends, to help in the fields, hoeing peanuts, and changing irrigation pipes.
In 1979, CJ returned to his roots in the oil business, founding and operating CJ Collum and Sons Trucking. He specialized in hauling oil rigs and heavy oilfield equipment.
In 2003, he expanded his farming operation to Pecos, Texas. He farmed organic alfalfa to supply a large number of organic Dairy farms throughout West Texas and New Mexico.
In 2008, he finally retired from his farming operation in Pecos. His retirement was short lived when his two sons formed Deeprock Energy and Premier Transportation. He spent many days as a consultant. His knowledge of the oil and transportation industry was priceless to the development of the business.
Since 2008, Pa has been able to spend most of his time on his farm in Perkins, cared for by his beloved wife of 70 years, Bessie, and surrounded by all of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
To know him was to love him, and to say he will be missed by his family and all who knew him is an understatement. C.J. was a beacon of light that guided his family with faith, generosity, patience, forgiveness, integrity, kindness, and most importantly, overflowing love. Pa never missed an “I love you”, a hug or giving his grandkids and great grandkids a scruffy kiss. Joy radiated from his smile and laughter. Family, friends, and total strangers were blessed by a conversation with Pa as he always left you better than he found you. “Never met a stranger” began with Pa. He leaves his tender loving spirit flowing through all of us as reminder of how to live. Dream big. Spread kindness. Love deeply.
Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Bessie; four children, Shana Harmon of Perkins, Oklahoma, Glenn Collum and wife Laura of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Randy Collum and wife Barbara of Perkins, Oklahoma, and Debbie deCordova and husband Russell of Groesbeck, Texas; brother, Jimmy Phillips of Durant, two sisters, Betty Gilbert and Dessie Henry both of Durant, Oklahoma; nine grandchildren, Ginger Goodwin, Chad Collum and Yantcy Greene, Amie Bushaw and husband Chad, Brad Collum and wife Emily, Ashley Klepper and husband Doug, Dusty Collum and wife Christa, Cody deCordova and wife Emily, Ty deCordova and wife Jennifer, Jase Collum and wife Jessica; great-grandchildren, Grayson, Kennedy, Natalee, Lauren, Landrey, Jett, Peyti, Cutter, Case, Remi, Charles Russell, Will, Wesley, Marlie, Macy, Cale, Allison, Brady, Riley, Ty, Gracie, Colt, Ellie, Peyton, Tylar, Wyatt, Connor; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Raymond Collum; seven sisters, Imogene Heflin, Rudene Van Brunt, Nettie Kelly, Hazel Allen, Martha Smith, Bonnie Phillips, and Beatrice Ladd; one great-grandson, Bennett Collum; and son-in-law, Roger Harmon.
A private graveside service will be held on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at Perkins Cemetery in Perkins. A Celebration of C.J.’s life will be held at a later date and the public will be welcome to join in the Celebration.
Love gifts can be made to Tryon Christian Union Church, Tryon, Oklahoma.