John Gregory Maniatakes

John Gregory Maniatakes was born June 25, 1959 in Gary, Indiana to William John and Ruth Carson Maniatakes. He passed away on February 2, 2019 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at the age of 59 years. John grew up in Arkansas and lived his adult life in Oklahoma. He was known to most as “Chicken Red” – a nickname he completely embraced. He had three children: Lisa Marie, Shaun David and Benjamin Scott; four grandchildren: Alex, Zachary, Elizabeth and Saylor, and two great grandchildren: Marley and Max. He also leaves behind his sister, Jeri Lynn Rainey and his former wife, Cheryl Anne Maniatakes.

He served one term in the U. S. Navy aboard ship where he visited several foreign countries. Afterwards, he worked various jobs until he started his own trucking company, Tumbleweed Trucking Company. He loved the open road – whether in his truck or on his Harley. He drove like he lived, full speed ahead! His sister used to tell him he drove his motorcycle too fast and he would say: “Sis, if I die like that you will know I died doing what I love!!!”

John was a complex guy but if you really knew him, you cherished him. He loved unconditionally and was generous beyond comprehension. If he had it and you needed it – it was yours! His love for animals spoke volumes about the kind of heart he had. Some of his last requests were that his beloved Olive be cared for and loved. He often volunteered at the animal shelter when they needed help. There were times when he would take every gift request from Christmas trees in the local stores for underprivileged children and fill them so on Christmas morning, they would have a gift under their tree.

They say you are not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved! During his lifetime John had no concept of just how rich he was – he was loved so deeply by so many –There is no doubt now that he knows just how much. He leaves behind a legacy of unselfishness and courage to face whatever came his way. His spirit is free to fly at whatever speed he chooses now, and the chains that bound his world are gone. Fly high John, you are surrounded in love and happiness – we will see you again one day.

It was John’s wish that he be cremated and that he go quietly into the night with no service. We will respect his wishes. In the event anyone wishes to offer a gift in his name they can be made to Elk City Animal Shelter – 1022 S. Main – Elk City, OK 73644 (580) 225.7222.

Arrangements are under the direction of Whinery Funeral Service, Elk City. Condolences may be made online at

The Beckham County Record

112 E Main Street 
Sayre, OK 73662
Phone: 580-928-5540
Fax: 580-928-5547
1119 W 3rd Street
Elk City, OK 73644
Phone: 580-303-7318