He joined the United States Marine Corps in August of 1944 and served in the South Pacific for 18 months. After his discharge in 1946, he attended school in Pittsburg, Kan., and returned to work on the Frisco Railroad where he worked for 34 years. He started out as bridge worker and became general foreman for bridge and building.
He married Wanda Jane (Leek) Giddens on Aug. 19, 1951. They had five children: Isaac Clayton Giddens Jr. (Clay and Lisa), Jane Lynn (Giddens) Cunningham, Andrew Ross Giddens (Beverly), Daniel Lee Giddens (Gina) and Jason Paul Giddens (Lewinda).
He is survived by his wife and all five children and by 13 grandchildren. "Ike" loved his family and his job on the railroad. He was a dedicated Christian, husband, father and employee. He was a quiet, powerful man, always ready to pitch in and help in any way he could. His kids said they didn't need Triple A because they had dad to call when they needed help.
Ike was a collector of many things -- coins, keys, bottles and, most of all, anything that pertained to trains or railroading. He has donated a great deal of his railroad memorabilia to the Route 66 Transportation Museum and Park on Southwest Boulevard in Tulsa. He was a member of the BNSF Veterans and NARVRE Organizations for retired railroaders. Ike's job on the railroad took the family to four states where Ike and the family made and still count as friends many people along the way. He retired from the railroad in 1981, returned to Tulsa and purchased and operated a sandblasting business for 10 years.
He was an avid Cardinals baseball fan and, of course, a sports enthusiast with all his kids' and grandkids' activities when they played and when they coached. He was Webelos Scout leader for his boys and even helped his oldest grandson with his Eagle Scout project. He and Wanda spent a week of their summer vacation times at Falls Creek Church Camp for seven years. His peanut brittle brought him praise and money for the Church Youth Fund at Calvary Tabernacle, where he has been active for many years. Ike loved country and gospel music, and he loved to dance and play games of all kinds, especially pitch.
Ike had many accomplishments in his life. Innovative ideas for his gangs on the railroad and promotions and honors, but possibly the greatest thing besides his family was what he did as a young man of 21 when he went to work on the railroad and with his first check he told his friends he was going to do one of two things with his paychecks. He was going to buy himself a car or build his mom a house. She hadbeen a single mom raising seven kids in a one-room shack with a dirt floor and had never had a house. That house still stands 60 years later in Fort Scott -- a four-room house strong and sturdy built with only a hand saw and a hammer by a strong young man with a very big heart -- and he and Wanda stay there when they go home. The American Dream is still alive in the hearts of all of us who knew him. And we will always love Ike.
Ike went to his new home in Heaven Saturday morning, Nov. 12, 2011, in Tulsa, Okla.
His memorial services have been entrusted to the care of the Mark Griffith Memorial Funeral Home -- Westwood Chapel in Tulsa, Okla., and will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Calvary Tabernacle in Tulsa with Clay Giddens and Andrew Giddens officiating.
A graveside service with military honors will be held at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, at the Fort Scott National Cemetery in Fort Scott, Kan.