Russell “Shea” Oliphant died Sunday, October 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. Born in Oklahoma City with a rare condition called Apert’s Syndrome, Shea was a miracle baby from the start. He learned to talk and walk and read a book when all the odds were against him. He graduated from Putnam City North High School and spent most of his adult life in some fabulous, loving group homes around the state. In the late 90s, he moved to Texas with his mother, where he enjoyed working at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie cleaning and riding the tractors. He returned to Oklahoma City in 2006.
Never having met a stranger, Shea was a joy to all those who were fortunate enough to have crossed his path. He taught everyone he encountered the importance of the little things we all sometimes take for granted. Every day should be greeted with a smile, every stranger greeted with a handshake or a hug, every mention of a loss should receive an “I’m sorry.” Shea sometimes knew the exact thing to say when those of us who feel “smarter” were at a loss for words. He loved to sing, and especially loved to laugh. He knew more words to Neil Diamond’s greatest hits than many of us who were raised in the 1960s. With unrelenting curiosity, he wanted to know more about the car you drove than you ever cared to know. He was fascinated by owner’s manuals to everyday appliances and loved pushing buttons that made the microwave work.
Shea left this world peacefully in true “Sugar Shea” fashion, by first asking his nurse what her name was before simply bidding her farewell and then closing his eyes. The family expresses their thanks and love to Westview Cottages in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and St. Ann’s Skilled Nursing Home. Shea is survived by his father and stepmom, Dr. Sam and Tina Oliphant, siblings, Lauren Oliphant, Taylor and Laura Oliphant, Addison and Paydon Ardery, and Kamryn Oliphant, as well as two beloved nephews, Jude Oliphant and River Ardery. He was preceded in death by his mother, D.Anne Oliphant.
A celebration of Shea’s life will be held Friday, October 16, 2020, at Castle Falls, 820 N. MacArthur, in Oklahoma City, at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled or the Special Olympics. Arrangements made under the direction of Buchanan Funeral Service, 8712 N. Council Rd., Oklahoma City. Online obituary and guestbook are available at: buchananfuneralservice.com.
Shea’s Memorial Video Tribute can be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G6_fafID34&feature=youtu.be