June Resident Spotlight: Betty & Carroll Gatlin

Betty Gatlin first learned to fish on a farm outside Claremore. She and her father, who ran the farm, would go out to the ponds almost every evening after a hard day’s work. “There were catfish and we’d catch perch and bass too,” Betty remembers. “He taught me everything I know. Early on, he said if I couldn’t bait the hook or take them off the hook, I couldn’t fish.” Betty and her father continued their angling ways through his later years, eating breakfast every Saturday morning and throwing casts in the afternoon. “It’s always been a great way for me to relax,” she says. After retiring, she and Carroll moved to Hot Springs Village where he golfed at least four times a week in front of the house and she’d spend the evenings on the dock behind.
The Gatlin’s have enjoyed retirement since finishing up their careers. “I decided that I wouldn’t wear a suit ever again after I retired unless I was headed to a wedding or a funeral,” Carroll notes. Growing up in Coffeeville working on farms outside town, his daily attire consisted of blue jeans. “I started hauling hay in the 7th grade at night because it was too hot during the day. I did whatever they needed me to do, whether that was moving rocks or hay or emptying out grain silos,” he recalls. After
graduating high school, Carroll served in the Army before coming to Tulsa to work for the city. As one of his jobs, Carroll took on assignments as a bodyguard. Amazingly enough, he worked with all the presidents aside from Bill Clinton and drove George Wallace around Tulsa when he was a candidate. He also spent a few days with the Mayor of Jerusalem while he was in town and guarded Elvis Presley nearly every time he played a show here. “He really was a nice guy,” Carroll noted about The King of Rock.
When he was guarding Bob Phillips of Phillips Petroleum, Carroll also filled another opening at Bob’s ranch south of town working with the horses. He grew up helping with his grandfather’s horses and it was a good way for him to unwind at the end of the day. Carroll and Betty and their four children also had their own ranch with horses at one time where they raised Palomino Quarter Horses. “It was a really great time for us and the kids,” they reminisced.
Since moving to Country Club, Carroll has been working his way through their paperback collection at considerable pace and Betty has enjoyed working with her flowers. “It was a transition coming from our home but we are glad to be here,” says Carroll. We are so grateful they have chosen Country Club.

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