• Dennis McCaslin

Former Poteau mayor Jeff Shockley dead at the age of sixty-four



Former Poteau mayor Jeff Wayne Shockley, 64, passed away Saturday in Fort Smith, according to his online obituary.


"Jeff Shockley was born March 15, 1956 in Ysleta, TX to Melvin & Betty (Nichols) Shockley who preceded him in death.


Jeff was a true leader with a strong spirit and a drive for success of the State, City, and County. Everyone that worked with Jeff became a friend.


He was a mentor to new Mayors all across the State. Jeff was a team player and could bring people together.


He was elected to Poteau City Council in 1993 serving his ward until elected Mayor in 1999. Jeff served on numerous boards locally and across the state serving many as board of director or chairman.


These include Past Chair and Board of Director of the Oklahoma Municipal League, Past Chair and Board Member of Oklahoma Southeast, Past Chair of Kiamichi Economic Development, Mayors Council Oklahoma Board of Directors, Southeast Oklahoma Water Advisory Board, Past Chair and Board Member of the Fort Smith Regional Alliance, Board Member of the LeFlore County Development Coalition, Past Board Member Poteau Chamber of Commerce, Founder of Poteau’s July 4th Event Celebrate America, Community Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners.


Jeff was voted 2006 Oklahoma’s Large City Mayor of the Year, Poteau Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year 2007 and 2012, and Poteau Chamber’s Stewardship Award 1999.


While in office, Jeff oversaw the renovation of City Hall and the completion of the Cavanal Expressway.


Other milestones that were achieved during Jeff’s administration were: a new Police Station, Fire Department, The Donald W. Reynolds Center, Patrick Lynch Library, new ballfields at PARC, Soccer Fields, The Skate Park on Broadway, new sidewalks on Broadway and Dewey, Welcome to Poteau signs, Stop Signs on Dewey and the Poteau Bull Project.


Jeff was very instrumental in growing in Poteau’s signature Poteau Balloonfest.


In September 2019, Jeff was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials. He was inducted as Carl Albert State College Distinguished Alumni in 2019.


Survivors include his wife Connie of the home; daughter & son in law, Brooke & Paul Mason of Seguin, TX; sons & daughters in law, Tyler & Sidni Shockley of Tahlequah, Taylor & Taylor Shockley of Poteau; 5 grandchildren, Joel, Jenna & Liam Mason, Treven & Holden Shockley; brother & sister in law, Monte Shockley Sr. & Rita of Poteau; sister & brother in law, Mary & David Peevy of Alma, AR; father in law & mother in law, Ike & Barbara Caudell of Poteau; brother in law & sister in law, Ikie & Kathy Caudell of Wister; nephew, Monte Shockley Jr, & spouse Ashley of Poteau; niece, Sarah Adcock & spouse Levy of Claremore; uncle & aunt, Kenny & Grace Nichols of Clint, TX; other relatives, loved ones and friends.


Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday May 20, 2020 at the Donald W. Reynolds Center, Poteau with Rev. Gary Vancil and Jason Lloyd officiating.


Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery.


Pallbearers will be Jay Sommers, Jon Pickel, Kevin Adams, Billy Cripps, Stephen Fruen & Greg Russell. Honorary pallbearers will be Marc Bovos, Marty Wages, Ted Sheets, Clay Bennett, Scott Bradshaw & Scotty White.


In lieu of flowers please make donations to your choice of Poteau Area Projects – Chamber of Commerce, PARC or any of the projects so near and dear to Jeff’s heart.


You can donate to City Hall and specify project if you would like.


The Donald W. Reynolds Center will be open at 9 am, Wednesday for friends to view until service time if you choose – since the social distancing thing is still so important."




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