Skip to content

Obituary: Keith Thrasher

Gail Keith Thrasher, 79, of Midwest City, Oklahoma was called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on February 20, 2019.

Keith was born on June 22, 1939 in Paris, Texas. He was the only child of the late Jesse and Lois Hopkins Thrasher.

Gail Keith Thrasher

As a teenager his favorite sport was to drive fast. The faster the better. Between Paris and Commerce, Texas all the police knew him well. Very well. But his charm and charisma dwarfed all the mischief.

Keith never disliked anyone. When he met a stranger it was only for a moment and they quickly became friends. His favorite motto was, “If you are nice to others, usually they will be nice to you.”

He met the love of his life, Peggy Smyers, in 1956 at the local skating rink. A year later in 1957 Keith graduated from Paris Hugh School.

He and Peggy were married on July 21, 1962 in Deshong Chapel at Paris Junior College.

He attended PJC and went on to graduate with both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Psychology from Texas A&M Commerce. He also worked on his PHD at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Keith proudly served in the Army during the Berlin Crisis.

Keith’s mother Lois and his love for people influenced his decision to become a College Psychology Professor.

In 1965 he began teaching in Uvalde Texas, transferred to Northwestern State University in Alva Oklahoma a year later, then in 1971 he began his career at Rose State College in Midwest City, Oklahoma. As a tenured professor there he received The Distinguished
Teacher Award.

He also enjoyed public speaking. He gave several speeches about Human Relations throughout the country.

He touched the lives of thousands of students through his knowledge, humor, caring spirit, and vibrant storytelling. He loved his students and his students loved him.

Keith is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Peggy Thrasher, his only daughter, Noël Thrasher, and countless friends and family members.

The only word his family and friends can use to describe Keith Thrasher is irreplaceable. He was a loving Christian man who truly never met a stranger. He was a devoted husband and father. Keith only saw the good in the world, especially in people. Our hearts are broken.

Two services will be held. The first will be a memorial service on Thursday, February 28th at 2pm at Rose State College inside the Atkinson’s Theater.

His funeral will be Sunday, March 3rd at 2pm at Bright-Holland Funeral Home in Paris, Texas with burial to follow at Long Cemetery, Powderly, Texas. Keith will be laying in repose Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday morning.

*Floral deliveries for Thursday’s service at Rose State can be received starting at 11am. Atkinson’s Theater is on the north side of the main campus.


  1. Sherry Phillips on February 27, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    He was an amazing professor at Rose state always positive and will be greatly missed

  2. Emma Hankinsp on February 28, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    He will be missed ! He was loved by many, I was always LaNeesha’s mom to him. RIH Mr. Thrasher.

  3. Robert K Winters Jr on June 28, 2019 at 8:31 am

    It was a pleasure to know him. He was truly the definition of “love your neighbor.” I cherished every chance encounter we had, which in hindsight, wasn’t chance at all, but what I needed right at that moment. I hope I can live up to your example. God bless your wife and your daughter. Save me a seat in your heavenly classroom. ~Robert

Leave a Comment