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Martin ‘Rauk’ Friend Obituary

Martin 'Rauk' Friend passed away at the age of 72 in Oklahoma City.

Martin “Rauk” Friend passed away at the age of 72 in Oklahoma City. Born in Vinita, Okla., on December 31, 1950, Rauk was a vibrant soul who loved bright and beautiful colors. Those who knew him will forever remember his laughter and the bits of wisdom he imparted.

Raised on the 7L ranch in Vinita, Rauk’s early years were filled with the joy of ranch life. Life took him to the Pacific Northwest during his high school years, where his father followed a calling to the ministry and they settled in Bellingham, WA. After high school, Rauk served in the Navy during the Vietnam War aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk, a period that filled him with immense pride. He later attended Oklahoma Baptist University, where he met and married Gayla, who later became Gayla Friend-Turner, now married to Preston. Together, they co-parented their sons, a responsibility also shared with Rauk’s wife of 29 years, Anita.

In 1994, Rauk and Anita built a life in Oklahoma City, enriched by their shared love of collecting antiques, sailing, and travels across the United States. Rauk worked in various roles at OG&E, but his most cherished role was that of a husband, father, and grandfather.

In his later years, Rauk developed a deep connection to his Osage heritage. He taught these traditions to his children and grandchildren and found joy in participating in the In-Lon-Schka dances.

Rauk is survived by his spouse Anita; sons Erik, Todd, and Ryan; and their families. Erik is married to Tara and they have four children: Jonathan, William, Ava, and Jaxon. Todd is married to Stacy and has two children: Dax and Alice. Ryan, previously married, has four children: Adelaide, Aurora, Ion, and Emory. Rauk also leaves behind his sister Robin Friend and her husband Tom, his brother Joe Friend and his wife Karen, his cousin Carla Yocum and her husband Bill, along with many nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, and grand-nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents Sam and Donna Friend, and his mother Coweesta Martin.

Those who knew Rauk will remember a man who was stern but always present, whose eyes conveyed genuine emotion. Whether driving hours one-way for a canceled soccer game, giving wonderful, yet unheeded advice, or standing up to speak at his father’s memorial service, Rauk was a man of action and heart.

Rauk’s celebration of life was September 5, 2023, at Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home Chapel in Muskogee with Pastor David Day officiating. Committal prayers and interment will follow in Citizens Cemetery in Fort Gibson with Jonathan Friend, William Friend, Dax Friend, Cory Wilson, Billy Whitehead and Mark Davis serving as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers are Ion Friend, Jaxon Friend, Emory Friend, Oscar Huerta, Dewayne Ashford and Vic Dogra.

The family of Martin Rauk Friend has entrusted his care, services and burial to Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home and Crematory, Muskogee, OK. 

Online condolences may be left for the family at


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