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1949 - 2019

Gregory Eli Pyle
April 25, 1949 - October 26, 2019

Gregory Eli Pyle, beloved husband, father and grandfather, and former Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, passed from this life into his heavenly home on October 26, 2019. Gregory was born April 25, 1949 in Ft. Bragg, California. He spent his childhood in Mendocino, California, before moving to Hugo, OK, in 1966. He graduated from Hugo High School in 1967, received his Bachelor's Degree in Business from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he met the love of his life, Patti Gail Baker. They married September 10, 1971, and were blessed with two beautiful children, Andrea and Eric.
Greg Pyle became Chief of the Choctaw Nation in 1997, after serving more than 13 years as the Assistant Chief of the tribe. One of his first initiatives as Chief was to build a long-awaited new hospital in Talihina, where his first grandchild was born. Many other facilities were established during Chief Pyle's tenure, including a Diabetes Wellness Center, new clinics in Stigler, McAlester, Atoka, Broken Bow and Idabel, a new Hospitality House adjacent to the hospital, Recovery Center, Women's Treatment Center and mail order pharmacy refill center. Six Independent Living Communities were established for elderly tribal members, giving them safe and affordable homes. In addition, a number of new community centers, Child Development Centers and wellness centers were completed.
Under the positive leadership of Chief Pyle, the Choctaw Nation put families first, with priorities on education, health care and jobs. He dearly loved his tribal members and would not hesitate to take off his coat and give it to anyone he saw in need. His renewed emphasis on economic development resulted in profitable tribal businesses such as gaming centers, manufacturing plants and travel plazas, creating numerous jobs and funding tribal programs. When Chief Pyle retired in April, 2014 after serving 17 years as Chief, the number of Choctaw Nation employees had grown to over 8,000 worldwide.
During Chief Pyle's tenure, many new programs and services were initiated, including education programs such as STAR, child development centers, the academic program at Jones Academy, and the Career Development Program. Other new services included the Veterans Advocacy Program, sports and cultural camps for youth, and the School of Choctaw Language to ensure the Choctaw native language would not be lost. He was asked to testify on numerous occasions before the U.S. Congress and addressed students at Harvard University.
His many accomplishments notwithstanding, Greg Pyle
considered his greatest achievement in life was his family. He loved them unconditionally. Family vacations usually involved snow skiing, hiking, or a trip to the beach. He enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his precious grandchildren, teaching them to fish, ski and ride bikes. A day at Granddad's house included riding four-wheelers, paddling kayaks around on the pond, cutting bamboo to make frog gigs, and roasting marshmallows by a roaring fire out in the pergola.
Gregory Pyle is survived by his wife Patti of the home, daughter Andrea and husband Anton Pavlovsky of Mansfield, Texas; son Eric Pyle of Calera, Oklahoma; grandchildren
Gabriel Pavlovsky, Addeline Pavlovsky, Skyler Pyle, Elias Pyle, Brynna Pyle, Chandler Fernandez, Parker Fernandez, special grandson Matthew Holaday; brothers Alvin Pyle, Jr. and wife Joetta of Coldspring, Texas, Shaun Pyle and wife Christy of Hugo, Oklahoma; step-father Donald Wilmouth of Durant, Oklahoma; many cousins, nieces, nephews, family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Alvin Pyle, Sr., mother Juanita Wilmouth, and sister Sharon Fleming.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 2, at 10:00 a.m. at the Choctaw Nation Event Center. Burial will be at 2 p.m. at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Hugo, OK.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Nicaragua Work Fund, Durant Church of Christ, PO Box 152, Durant, OK 74701; Chata Foundation https://chahtafoundation.com/; The
Services are under the direction of Holmes~Coffey~Murray Funeral Home in Durant, Oklahoma


Published in The Oklahoman on Oct. 30, 2019
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