Cover photo for Gilbert Andrew Agronis's Obituary
Gilbert Andrew Agronis Profile Photo
1930 Gilbert 2022

Gilbert Andrew Agronis

October 28, 1930 — November 27, 2022

Gilbert Andrew Agronis was born October 28, 1930, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Andrew and Marion (Blunt) Agronis. Gil, as we all knew him, would say he had an idyllic childhood. His parents and grandparents were best friends, and they did everything together. He was equally at home playing baseball with his friends in Bridgeport or spending weekends in the woods and at the beach at his grandparents. He adored his grandmother, and his grandfather took Gil with him everywhere.

After graduating from Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport, Gil attended Duke University. However, as war raged in Korea, he felt compelled to serve his country. He joined the United States Air Force and trained as an aircraft navigator. The war in Korea ended as he finished his training, but he found he enjoyed the order, discipline, camaraderie, and challenges of military life. Gil served with the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, which was responsible for flying the perimeter of the Soviet Union to intercept and interpret radio transmissions and do high-level photography before the days of spy satellites. As Navigator, he had to get the plane as close to the target as possible without violating Soviet air space, and he did this without the use of modern computers and GPS. He earned the rank of Lt. Colonel before retiring in 1972.

After 20 years in the Air Force, Gil obtained a master's degree in accounting at the University of Nebraska. In 1978 he relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to accept a position with McDonnell Douglas flying on contract with the United States Navy to assist in training Naval personnel during fleet operations. Like his military service, this work was critical to national defense, serving both U.S. and its allies around the globe.

He did all this while also being a single father to his two youngest children-a teenage daughter and a college-age son.

It was in Tulsa that he met the love of his life, Ellen Miller. They married in 1985. During the next 37 years, Gil and Ellen built a life together centered around their blended family, their love of travel, fellowship with friends, and their involvement with Tulsa Bible Church.

On their many trips, they were able to visit all 50 states and most of the Canadian Provinces, plus several international trips. But Gil's favorite travels always included visiting children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Despite his final illness, Gil celebrated his 92nd birthday at home surrounded by family. He got to experience being a great-grandfather for the 4th time and see pictures of his new great-grandson. On Thanksgiving Day, family members crowded into his hospital room to share the holiday with him. When asked what he was most thankful for, he answered, "My family."

Knowing the end was near, Gil said he wanted to go to Heaven, where he would see God and be at peace. God graciously granted his request on Sunday, November 27, 2022, when Gil fell asleep on Earth and woke up in Heaven in the arms of Jesus.

Gil was pre-deceased by his parents and beloved daughter, Dawn Barnheisel. He is survived by his wife, Ellen, and his brothers, Raymond and Douglas Agronis. He will be lovingly missed by sons Douglas (Peggy) Thompson, Bill Agronis, daughter Amy (Darin) Burgstahler, and step-sons Scot (Sandra) and Douglas Chad (Cher) Miller. He loved and was greatly loved by grandchildren Andrew (Gwyneth) Thompson-Briggs, Kelsey (Chris) Foxall, Jack and James Miller, and Quinn Burgstahler. And four great-grandchildren.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gilbert Andrew Agronis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, December 10, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Schaudt's Tulsa Funeral Service Chapel

5757 South Memorial Drive, Tulsa, OK 74145

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