1926 - 2020
John Fred Shannon
July 29, 1926 - May 7, 2020
John Fred Shannon was one of the true pioneers of television in Oklahoma. A still photographer when WKY-TV went on the air in 1949, he was called upon to assist this new broadcast phenomenon. John joined the station full time and was associated with Channel 4 for 37 years until his retirement in 1986. During the early days of television, John Shannon recorded a number of firsts in Oklahoma television photography. He shot the first television news story to air in Oklahoma – a still photograph on the escape of "Leapy the Leopard" from the Oklahoma City Zoo. In 1950, he shot and edited the first television documentary, Christmas in the City, featuring Governor and Mrs. Johnson Murray. It was the first use of film in Oklahoma City television. John was the first to shoot an entire University of Oklahoma football game for later playback on the station. For 25 years, he shot every OU football game, a unique record in itself for football and television. He installed and operated the first television news film-processing unit in Oklahoma. When WKY-TV became the first independent color station in the country, it was John Shannon who designed, installed, and operated the unit. Throughout his career, John has been honored by the Ad Club, the Oklahoma Film and Television Producers Club, the Boy Scout Council, and the United Way. In the mid 1950s, he was recognized for his work by being named the Kodak National Cameraman of the Year. At a time when producing television programming was not an easy task, John Shannon possessed an uncanny ability to work effectively under the tremendous deadline pressures. He was a caring person, readily willing to share his knowledge and experiences with young photographers and filmmakers. He was an innovative and indispensable behind-the-scenes talent who worked to bring quality entertainment and information to the viewing audience. John Shannon was not only a pioneer, but also a contributor to the growth and success of Oklahoma television. He is survived by his daughter, Joy Gould; and his sister, Mrs. Peggy Franklin. A memorial service is pending at this time. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association, 710 W. Wilshire Blvd #101, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 (www.lung.org).
Published in The Oklahoman on May 10, 2020
Classen Obituaries – 3/15 – 4/18 – 2020
Class of 1948 – Shirley Booth Wright 12/07/29 – 04/06/20
Class of 1952 – LaNita Madden Beebe 06/14/33 – 01/20/20
Mary Helen Coachman Barnes 07/26/34 – 04/11/20
Tom Lekas 05/24/34 – 03/25/20
Class of 1954 – Carolyn Williams Smith 08/11/36 – 04/11/20
Class of 1955 – Joy Ann McBride 02/05/37 – 03/23/20
Lucy Bo Wheeler Shields 06/03/37 – 04/04/20
Amanda “Jane” Sewell Mozer 04/18/37 – 03/19/20
Class of 1964 – Carol Henry Kaylor 10/20/46 – 04/05/20
Class of 1976 – Charlene “Dody” Saumty 02/28/57 – 03/23/20
Class of 1978 – Antonette Johnson 02/25/60 – 03/31/20
Class of 1984 – John Liljestrand, Jr. 07/06/66 – 02/16/20
These came in late:
Class of 1948 – Richard “Dick” Miskell 10/05/30 – 01/31/20
Class of 1963 – Michele Cummings Roth 05/25/45 – 11/27/19
Class of 1946 – Richard Manning 10/10/28 – 05/01/17
Much-loved Art teacher:
Charles “Chuck” Keeler 04/14/48 – 04/09/20
Reported as graduating from Classen, but not found in the database:
Class of 1971 – Jerry Lamar Warner 03/15/53 – 03/28/20
Class of 1977 – Debra Sue Caldwell 10/11/59 – 04/09/20
Classen Obituaries – 2/16 – 3/14 – 2020
Class of 1946 – Richard “Dick” Mayes 10/29/28 – 2/17/20
Class of 1949 - Lee Clayton Stoldt 6/07/31 - 3/12/20
Class of 1950 – Suzie Hunter Hatcher 2/07/33 – 2/22/20
Class of 1951 – Jimmie Earl Stravlo 7/09/33 - 2/29/20
Class of 1954 – Charles Blackwood 5/31/36 - 3/10/20
Barbara Murray Keeter 6/09/36 - 3/01/20
Class of 1960 – Dianne Neyland Thompson 3/25/42 - 2/12/20
Class of 1964 - Michael Reaves 12/13/45 – 2/24/20
Class of 1973 – Tom Hanna 7/19/55 – 2/28/20
James William "Jim" Kyle Jr. passed Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, at his home in Oklahoma City, OK. He was born on March 17, 1931, in Stillwater, OK to James and Verna Kyle. Jim's career encompassed a wide array of experiences, including a stint as a staff reporter/photographer for The Oklahoman/Times, writing manuals for the Atlas Missile program and authoring numerous articles and books.
March 17, 1931 - Oct. 28, 2019
RALPH "MICKEY" MCVAY
3925 N Asbury Ave, Bethany, OK
Saturday, November 2nd at 2:00
Harry Gilbert Jr. died July 28, 2018, in OKC, at the age of 100. Born in Tulsa on March 17, 1918, to E. Harry Gilbert Sr. and Edith Margaret Beatty Gilbert, he attended Harding Junior High School. After graduation from Classen, he earned a B.A. degree in business administration from OU, where he was a member of ROTC and Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He then completed one year of law school before being called to active duty in the Army. He served five years, including 37 months in the Southwest Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. In 1946, he and his father formed Gilbert & Gilbert Independent Insurance Agency, where he continued as owner-manager until 1984. Harry was a long-standing member of Crown Heights Christian Church. Harry married Betty Gafford on April 11, They enjoyed 72 years together before her death in January 2018. His four children Carolyn Hert, Stillwater; Suzanne Montgomery, OKC; Harry Gilbert III, OKC; and Phil Gilbert, Austin; 13 grandchildren; and 25 great - grandchildren survive Harry.
Howard Ernest Paramore died September 20, 2018, at the Veterans Center in Norman. He was born in Lawton to Willis Wray and Mason Ray Paramore and grew up in Duncan. The family moved to OKC in 1936. Howard enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1940 and served throughout WWII. He married Elma Hirst in 1944. He was a devoted member of Trinity Baptist Church for 82 years, where he served as a deacon. Howard is survived by his daughter-in-law, Pam Paramore, Carrollton, TX; his son, Terry Paramore and his wife Kathleen, Half Moon, Bay, CA; and daughter, Cheryl Malone, OKC. He also has 11 grandchildren and 14 greatgrandchildren.
Ethel Burnham Meece died
July 10, 2018, at Channing House in Palo Alto, CA. She graduated from Western College Ohio in 1942, and earned a master’s degree at Harvard medical school. She taught biology at Santa Clara University and at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. In 1947, she married Edward Meece; he died in 1999, and seven years later she wed Ely Brandes, who died in Her sons Eric, Edward, and Gordon Meece, and three grandchildren, survive her.
Mary Ellen Murdoch died July 6, 2018, at the Spanish Cove Pavilion in Yukon. She was born September 9, 1920, in St. Louis, MO, to Dr. Riley Waller and Muriel Rummell Waller. After her father’s early death in 1936, she and her mother moved to Oklahoma City to be near other family members. She attended Oklahoma College for Women. Later in her life she earned a B.A. degree from OCU, partially based on credits for life
experience. In 1939, she married Thomas J. Murdoch. They later moved to San Diego while he was in U.S. Navy training and his subsequent service in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he entered dental school in Kansas City and she worked as a dental assistant. This began her lifelong association with the dental profession. She served as Dr. Murdoch’s office manager and receptionist during his entire career in Okeene, Midwest City, and OKC. Mary Ellen was the first president of both the Midwest City Junior Service League and the OKC Tennis Club Women’s Association. She served on the boards of the OKC Art Museum Volunteers, the Women’s Committee of the OKC Symphony, and the OKC Orchestra League. She was also a board member and president of the OKC Town Hall. Mary Ellen had many interests in life, including tennis and playing piano. Her son Bruce, his wife Carol, and two grandchildren survive her.
Jo Jean Hall Gregston died July 19, 2018, at Westwind Assisted Living in Marlow, which had been her home for more than a decade. Jo was born to Clay P. and Aurara Mayfield Hall in Mangum, on November 1, 1920, and lived in Mangum and Hollis as a child before moving to OKC. After graduation from Classen she attended Oklahoma Baptist University where today an endowed scholarship bears her name. In 1945, Jo married Dr.
Jack L. Gregston. They moved to Marlow in the late 40s, then to Duncan in the late 50s where she resided until moving to Westwind in 2007. Jo is survived by five children: Dr. eon and Cindy Gregston of Springfield, MO, Lynn and Susan Gregston, Jerry and Tana Gregston, Carla Akers and Jeff and Stephanie Gregston all of Duncan, along with 12 grandchildren, 23 greatgrandchildren and two greatgreat- grandchildren.
Arthur Walter Scott Jr. died July 20, 2018, in Broken Arrow. He was born August 26, 1921, in Kansas City to
Arthur Walter Scott Sr. and Dorothy Jane Wing Scott. The family moved to Oklahoma City in 1930. He ttended Taft and Classen. After the start of World War II, he entered the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Quincy, CA-71, as a corpsman first class for three years. After the war, he returned to OKC, met Betty Dean Fisher, and they married on May 25, 1946. Art graduated from OCU in 1948, with his B.S. degree in chemistry.
He worked for oil and gas companies, including SOHIO and Eason Oil, and was a consultant for the bankruptcy court after his retirement in Art and Betty adopted two sons, Gregory in 1954, and Richard in 1957. He was active in his churches, Linwood and later, Grace Methodist Church. Later in life, he traveled with Betty, visited his sons, and volunteered at Mercy Hospital. When Rick was hurt in 1994, he and Betty stayed with Rick to help in his rehabilitation and recovery. After Betty’s death in 2013, Art lived with Rick in Broken Arrow. Art is survived by his sons, Greg and wife Becky, and Rick; his sister, Eleanor Witner; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Charles Jackson “Jack” Harris died July 11, 2018. He was born to Earl and Marie Harris on June 21, 1922, in
Wilson. Jack served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, he earned a business administration degree from OU in 1948. He was a lifetime OU Sooners fan. Jack met Mary Margaret Lewis at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and they were married in the church at NW 8 and Robinson on April 9, 1948. They lived in OKC for their entire 69-year marriage; Margaret died in 2017. Jack chaired every major church committee during his years as a member and was one of the last surviving members of the Clyde Harrison Sunday School class, formed following World War II for young married couples. After graduating from OU, Jack began a career in finance and banking. In 1961, he began a real estate development career, during which he developed a number of projects, both housing and commercial. Jack and Margaret traveled extensively, crossing the Atlantic 22 times for various trips. He is survived by his four children and their spouses, Marsha and Garnett Haubelt, Mark and Anne Harris, Cathy and Bob Young, all of Oklahoma City; and David and Van Noy Harris, of Denver. Six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren also survive him.
Imogene Elizabeth Pitts Branch died September 21, 2018, at her home in Lawton, surrounded by her family.
Born in Tipton to Sydney and Alma Pitts on September 30, 1923, she was a member of Eastern Star, Olivet Baptist Church, and graduated from business college. On April 28, 1944, she married Thomas A. Branch in OKC. In the 1950s, Imogene and Tom owned and managed a barbeque restaurant on 23rd street in OKC called “Zean’s Bar-B-Q.” In 1960 they bought Soldier Creek Resort on Lake Texoma, and in the process gave their family a complete lifestyle change. All family members enjoyed fishing, boating, and water sports.
In 1967 she learned to play tennis, from her son Steve ’68 and daughter Kathy ’67, and became an avid fan of tennis for the rest of her life. Imogene always claimed her son-in-law and daughter-inlaw as her children. Her son Tom and his wife Jana Jo Branch of Lewisville, TX; her daughter Kathy and her husband Jay Cooper of Lawton; her brother David Pitts ‘57 and his wife Paula of Houston; two granddaughters; two grandsons; and six great - grandchildren survive Imogene.
Pauline Lucas Hargrove died May 25, 2018, in Plano, She was born in Joplin on August 21, 1923, to Albert and Mary Lucas. Pauline was a longtime employee of State Farm before her retirement in She enjoyed traveling. Three sons, Philip Hargrove and wife Cindy of Flower Mound, TX; Glynn Hargrove and wife Lynda of Plano; Clayton Hargrove and wife Peyton of Manlius, NY; and six grandchildren survive Pauline.
Edith Loreta Edwards Waller died July 12, 2018, in Yukon. Born on Dec. 22, 1922, in Fort Worth, Edith worked at the family-owned City Mattress Company as a seamstress and bookkeeper. Well-known for her mouth-watering cooking and her hospitality, she was a mother to all. Edith is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Mona Dean Phillips Kirby died July 6, 2018, in Seattle. She was born October 3, 1924, in Chickasha, to Bob and Lillian Holt Phillips. During the war years, Mona worked for Decca Records and later as an office manager for Campbell Soup Company sales until retiring in 1995. Mona was married to Harrell P. Kirby for 50 years until his death in 1994, and later married Earl Howells who died in 2003. She was an avid knitter and knit hundreds of hats for the homeless in Seattle. Mona was a deacon in her church and the president of Epsilon Sigma Alpha sorority for many years. In 2009 she was awarded the Distinguished Center of Influence Award by the Army, 181st Brigade, for her support of troops in the Iraq War. Her son James Kirby, her daughter Virginia Kay Kirby Klein, three grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren survive Mona.
Elizabeth “Betty” Kuehnle died August 1, 2018. Born in Bogalusa, LA, on October 18, 1925, Betty moved to OKC when she was three years old. Betty completed secretarial school in Dallas and began her career as a booking agent with 20th Century Fox. During this time she met her husband of 62 years, Bob; they married in 1953. Betty and Bob were members of Northridge Presbyterian Church for 66 years. For decades they served their community by delivering meals on wheels for the Visiting Nurses Association of Dallas. Two daughters, three grandchildren, four greatgrandchildren, and a nephew survive Betty.
Elizabeth “Betty” Ann Perkins died July 14, 2018. Betty was born on St. Valentine’s Day of 1925, in St. Louis, the daughter of Alphons and Clare Eufinger. Not long after, her family moved to OKC. She met Lee Perkins on a blind date; they married July 26, 1947, and were married for 66 years. Betty delighted in serving her family as a homemaker, and lived a full active life. Betty loved bridge, bowling, and many church activities. After retirement, Betty and Lee enjoyed more than 20 years of extensive travel around the world, her favorite places being Switzerland and Ireland. Four daughters, Carol Perkins-Dill, Joan Benson and husband Dr. Melvin Benson, Kitty Perkins, and Patty Eikelman and husband Steve; five grandsons; six great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews survive her.
Richard E. Hughes died July 19, 2018, in OKC. He was born March 15, 1926, in Tulsa, to Lewis Hurley and Mary
Marguerite Slavin Hughes. After graduating from Classen, he proudly served our country in WWII in the U.S. Navy. He later earned his degree in business from OCU. Richard owned a propane business in Oklahoma City. His son Mitchell Hughes, his daughter Alison Alfonso and her husband Anthony, two grandchildren, and three nieces survive him.
Phyllis Hellar Brown died July 12, 2018, in OKC. Born in Wichita, KS on November 9, 1927, to Grace Hurley Hellar and Fredrick Thomas Hellar, she was the third of their four daughters. When Phyllis was 14, her father died and her mother moved their family to OKC. At Classen, Phyllis belonged to the BVG Sorority.
After graduation, she went to OU, where she pledged Tri- Delta sorority. She married Russell Brown on June 2, 1948. They had four children. Russ and Phyl were married for 66 years until his death in Phyllis was a faithful member of All Souls’ Episcopal Church for many years. She was a Lynda Tarpley’s Tapper, and wowed her grandchildren when she danced to Tequila at the OKC Arts Festival. Phyllis is survived by three of her children: her daughter Becky and husband, C. D. Lawson, OKC; her son Rusty Brown and his wife Sarah, Denver; her daughter Terri and husband Troy Benear, OKC; and her son-inlaw, Paul Yarsa, Bartlesville. Gaga is also survived by 11 grandchi ldren, 13 great - grandchildren, three greatgreat - grandchildren , her brother-in-law Dean Stahr, and many nieces and nephews.
Pat Warren Harding died May 26, 2018. Born September 18, 1927, Pat lived in Oklahoma City all of his life. Pat was a member of Classen’s track team as a pole vaulter and ran the mile. He was a WWII veteran. He was an employee at Southwestern Bell Telephone Company for 36 years, during which he never took a single sick day. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed long walks through the woods, fishing and golfing. He was also a music lover who appreciated bluegrass & gospel hymns as well as classical pieces. Pat hand-made three beautiful violins all of which have excellent sound. His daughter, Vickie and her husband Don Stuart, his brother, E. Michael “Mike” Harding ’51, two grandchildren, and six greatgrandchildren survive Pat.
Martha Jean Monnet Cunningham Laughlin died July 11, 2018, in OKC, where she had been a lifelong resident. After Classen, she spent two years at Smith College in New Hampshire, then returned to OU where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She graduated in 1950 as a Phi Beta Kappa with a B. in English Literature. Her first job was as Dean of Women at Casady School. Jean married Dr. William A. Cunningham on May 1, 1954, and they enjoyed 37 years of marriage until his death in Once Bill began his medical practice, she devoted her life to raising her four children and serving in their church and the community. Jean married Gwynne Laughlin of OKC in 2002. They enjoyed dancing, laughter, and traveling together until his death in 2009. Jean is survived by her brother, four children, 10 grandchildren, and several great -grandchildren.
Paul Edward Bavousette of Broken Arrow died July 24, 2018, at St. John’s Medical Center, Tulsa. He was
born on February 27, 1930, in OKC. After graduating from Classen, he attended OU until 1950, when his Marine Corps reserve unit was activated during the Korean War. He served with the First Marine Division in Korea from mid- September 1950 until early October 1951, and received the Commendation Medal with Combat V for action during that time. He participated in the Chosin Reservoir campaign, Horseshoe Ridge, Inchon landing, Mortar Alley, Hill 1081, Heartbreak Ridge, Kojo, Majon-Ni, Hill 307, and various other campaigns. After being discharged in January 1952, he went to work for Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. as a meter reader in OKC, and married Madeline Birk on September 12, 1952. Over the next four decades, he rose into management, and in 1986 retired as the Area Accounting Manager in Sapulpa, having spent 34 years and 9 months with ONG. During his career he served in many organizations while stationed in El Reno and in Sapulpa. He is survived by a son Terry, and a daughter Sharon McDonald.
Robert D. “Bob” Clark died June 26, 2018, in Wichita. Born in Shawnee in 1930, Bob grew up in the depression, dust storms, and oil fields of the “dirty thirties.” In his teens, Bob learned to fly at the original Wiley Post Airport. He attended school in Seminole, then Classen, and went on to OU, where he was social chairman of Alpha Sigma Phi. After college graduation, he joined the USAF, was commissioned a lieutenant, and was assigned to the 514th squadron at Master RAF Station in the UK. Bob worked for Fourth National Bank/Bank IV for 30 years and served on many boards in the Wichita community. Bob also lived in Cambria, CA, and Santa Fe, NM. He loved to travel the world, and enjoyed being with his family and taking care of his beloved dogs.
Charles D. Dudley died July 30, 2018. He was a graduate of OU and loved everything OU and Thunder. Charles was a retired judge, member of the Army Reserve, and a 32nd Degree Mason. His daughter Angel, son-in-law Todd Munday, and stepsons Dale Johnson, Johnny Johnson, and Chris Johnson survive him.
Douglas Wood Matthews died April 5, 2018, at his home in Langley, CO. He was born August 21, 1930, in Mena, AR, to Richard and Loretta Wood Matthews. An optician, Douglas had a practice in OKC for many years. He moved from OKC to the Langley area four years ago. Survivors include his brother Kenneth Matthews of Denver, his sons Randal of Langley and Richard of Wellston, CO, three grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.
Carolynn Nicholson Seymour died June 14, 2018, in Gillette, WY. Carolynn was born May 15, 1930, in OKC, to Harry Lynn Nicholson and Edna Lucy Jones . After graduation from Classen, she attended the Oklahoma College for Women at Chickasha for one year. Carolynn met her future husband Delmar on a blind date instigated by mutual friends, and they were married December 2, 1951. They had two daughters: Denice and
Deanna. After his Army service, Delmar started working for Flint Engineering and was transferred to several places. They lived in San Antonio, El Dorado, KS, Canada, Kimball, NE, and finally settled in Lindsay where the girls attended school. Delmar and Deanna moved to Gillette in 1974, and Denice followed a few months later. The family joined Westside Baptist Church where Carolynn and Delmar were members for over 40 years. Carolynn is survived by her daughters Denice Roush and Deanna Dietz, eight grandchildren, and nine greatgrandchildren.
Agnes Dorse Suttle died July 22, 2018. She was born December 15, 1930, in OKC. Agnes attended Christian College in Columbia, MO, before graduating from OU in 1952 with a BA in library science. At OU she pledged Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She earned a master’s degree in library science from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, along with certification at University of Houston’s Oil and Gas Institute. Agnes married Charles A. “Chuck” Suttle on June 17, 1951. She was a longstanding member of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Agnes is survived by her husband of 67 years, Chuck; two daughters and their husbands, Susie and Tom Stalcup and Sandi and George Arnold; her son, Scott Suttle; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Mary Suzanne “Mary Sue” Brown Grossman died September 7, 2018. She was born on March 10, 1932, in OKC. Shortly after her birth, Bernard and Eula Brown of OKC adopted her. Mary Sue was advanced a year during grade school. Her father’s work took the family to Lakewood, OH, outside Cleveland, for many years before they returned to OKC. After graduating from Classen, Mary moved on to OU, where she majored in psychology and became the first in her family to earn a college degree. At OU, she met Stan Grossman, one of the many New Yorkers forced to attend college in the Midwest because colleges in the East were filled. They married on January 31, 1953, and after a weekend honeymoon in Tulsa, Mary moved to Virginia to be near Stan, who was stationed at Ft. Belvoir with the Army Corps of Engineers. After Stan’s discharge from the Army, they bought their first home, on NW 13 west of Meridian. She focused on raising her children, first in OKC and then in Norman where the family moved in 1962. After the children left home, Mary returned to college to take accounting courses, then went to work for Stan’s company, Grossman & Keith Engineering. After Stan’s death in 2011, Mary began a long decline physically, but remained razor-sharp mentally until her final weeks. Mary is survived by her son Mark, of OKC, her daughter Jennifer, of Norman, her daughter-in-law Cynthia Brundige, three grandchildren, her brother and sister-in-law John and Joanna Brown of Katy, TX, and two nephews.
Frank John Kern died July 26, 2018, in Bellevue, NE. Born June 13, 1931, the US Air Force veteran retired from the University of Missouri- Rolla after 32 years as a professor of electrical engineering. He was an avid carpenter, electrician, and gardener, and loved puns. He was also an accomplished clarinetist. His daughters Melissa Duncan and Marguerite Theisen, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren survive him.
Harold D. Copeland died August 2, 2018. He was born October 26, 1932, to Naomi and Paul Copeland in Lone Wolf. The family moved to OKC when he was 10. Harold began his career as a paperboy, and worked his way up to owning two International Truck dealerships, one in Wichita, and the other in OKC. He met his wife, Dot, on a blind date that lasted 65 years. They had two children, Dee Ann, of OKC, and Curtis, of Parkland, FL. Harold’s greatest attributes were hard work, supporting individuals and charities. He is survived by his wife Dot; his children Dee Ann and Curtis; his daughter-in- law, Monica; two granddaughters ; three great - grandsons; an aunt; and three cousins.
Josephine Roper Hale died June 28, 2018, in Hays, KS. Born on June 11, 1932, at her grandparents’ home in Covington, TN, she moved to OKC at age 8. She attended Lincoln for a couple of months, and later Edgemere. Josephine then went on to Harding and Classen. In 1955, she graduated from OU with a BA in fine arts painting. While at OU, she was a member of Chi Omega sorority. On December 5, 1955, she married Donald Ray Hale in OKC. They shared 53 years of marriage until his death in Josephine was an antiques dealer for much of her life. Survivors include her daughter Elizabeth “Betsy” Lynn Clark and her husband Edwin “Ed” of Hays, a brother, John Parrish III, two sisters, Mary Lee Hurst and Laura Midgely, eight grandchildren, and five greatgrandchildren.
Sterling Brown Jones, formerly of Kingwood, TX, died unexpectedly at his home in Buena Vista, CO, on July 9, 2018, while recuperating from a fall. He was born in Okemah, on June 6, 1932, to Judge Dick and Idabel Jones. At Classen, Sterling was named all-state in baseball, and lettered in basketball. n December 1954, he graduated from OU with a B.S. in geology. At OU, he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, Air Force ROTC, and lettered in both baseball and basketball. He was a lifetime member of the OU Varsity O Club. While at OU, he met RaeDonna Lee Moore. They were married on May 5, 1955. Sterling received his pilot wings at Vance AFB in Enid. In the Air Force, he played for and coached the Air Force baseball team at Lowry AFB in
Denver. His team won the Worldwide Championship Series, and he was named to the Worldwide Air Force Team as a catcher. Following Sterling’s Air Force career, he became a geologist in the oil business in Tyler, TX. From Tyler, he moved to Tulsa, then Houston, and finally ended his career with his business, Jones & Mitchell Exploration Company. For years, Sterling was active in the First Christian Church in Tyler and Tulsa. Sterling is survived by his wife of 63 years, RaeDonna; son Dick and wife Karen of Fort Worth; daughter Kimberly Sheets and husband Duane of Friendswood, TX; daughter Kelly Beth Mitchell and husband Jim of Boerne, TX; seven
grandchildren; eight greatgrandchildren; a sister; a brother Joe Jones ’54; and many other relatives.
Julie Williams died September 3, 2018. She was born in OKC on September 17, 1932, the eldest daughter of Albert Howard “Dutch” Richards and Vineta Richards. She graduated from Lindenwood College in St. Louis in 1954 with a communications degree. Julie remained in St. Louis, where she worked at a local TV station for many years. In 1967 she married Wilbert “Bud” Williams and they stayed in St. Louis until moving back to Nichols Hills to assist in the care of her father. Julie was a fan of history and interested in anything about American Indian art and folklore. She loved to bead, and made many beautiful beaded flower arrangements in her retirement years. She is survived by her sons David, Jeff, and Todd and their families, and her sister Susan Richards Scruggs ’53 of Sunnyvale, CA. 1951
Dr. Frank Dill, the 1951 Classen Medal of Honor winner, died in his sleep at home in Jacksonville, NC, on August 18, 2018, one week short of his 85th birthday. Following graduation from Classen, Frank attended Cornell University on a full scholarship. At Cornell he rowed third chair on the crew that won the IRA Regatta in 1956. He graduated in June 1956 with a BS in electrical engineering. Following a semester at Princeton Theological Seminary, he entered the US Army. He spent two years of military service at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. In 1957 he married his Cornell sweetheart, Nancy Gillen. While there, they set up the first Laundromat in Huntsville, which supported them after the Army while he attended Cornell Medical School in New York City. Following internship in New York, Frank did his residency in OB/GYN at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, then entered practice in Jacksonville. He left OB/GYN practice some 20 years ago, but maintained the Jacksonville Womens’ Clinic until a few days before his death. Frank and his wife were members of the First Presbyterian Church, where Frank was for many years a member of the Session. Frank and Nancy were ardent antiquarians. They loved the Federal Period (1812-1820), and during his time in Nashville began acquiring Federal period furniture. Once settled in Jacksonville, they hired four Williamsburg restorers to disassemble a large Federal house in Rocky Mount, NC, plus a smaller, older house, move both of them to a half-city block lot in Jacksonville, and re-assemble them as one house, which was both totally authentic Federal period and completely modern. The job took a year. Frank joked that for the next 15 years, every time he left town for the weekend, his banker couldn’t sleep. Frank lost Nancy to cancer in Some years later, at the annual Antique Forum in Williamsburg, VA, he met Kaye Williams, the curator of Tryon Palace in New Bern, NC, and they became a devoted couple, seeing each other on weekends and traveling together for the next 20 years, until Kaye’s untimely death, also from cancer. In addition to his three children, three grandchildren, one great grandchild, and his sister, Elizabeth Dill Melton ’54 survive him.
Charles Jerry Fuller died June 29, 2018, in Dallas. Born in OKC on August 26, 1933, Charles was a 1955 graduate of OU with a degree in petroleum engineering. He was baptized and confirmed at the St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Lindsay in 1958. After college, Charles served as a lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. After his service, he pursued a career in the oil and gas industry, retiring from Arco Oil & Gas in 1995. With a young family, Charles and wife Shirley moved to Dallas, building a home near White Rock Lake. harles loved to travel with family and friends. Another great love was cooking. He hosted, prepared and served grand holiday meals for family and friends throughout the years. Shirley lost her fight with cancer more than 10 years ago. Charles remarried and continued to travel and host family and friends. Charles is survived by his wife Sue, his sister Barbara Ann Fiacco, two grandchildren, and two greatgrandchildren.
Wanda Laurette Voris Hoke died September 28, Born in Guthrie, on February 25, 1935, to Walter and Laura Voris, she and her parents moved to OKC when she was young. She completed her schooling at lassen, here she was first flutist in band and orchestra. Wanda was a voracious reader and fanatic sports fan. he was a lifelong member of Wesley United Methodist Women, and worked at Wesley UMC for 29 years. Her husband of 63 years, David; her four children, Douglas and Lisa Hoke, Edmond; Tina and Kirk Dana, Lubbock; Janet and Bill Piersall, Choctaw; and Dan Hoke, Durant; and seven grandchildren survive Wanda.
Charles Herman Kruger, former vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy at Stanford, died November 20, 2017, in Palo Alto, CA. Born October 4, 1934, Charles grew up in OKC. At Classen, he won the Anton Classen award. As a teen, he disassembled and rebuilt a Model A Ford his father had given him for his birthday. That led to an abiding interest in mechanical engineering. He attended OU briefly, then transferred to the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology. There he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1956 and a doctorate in 1960, both in mechanical engineering. Between those two degrees, Charles applied for and won a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to attend Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, where he received the equivalent of a master’s degree, the Diploma of Imperial College. In London, he delved into biology, then built an analog computer and developed a deep interest in fluid mechanics and thermal dynamics, which would become the foundations of his research career. Upon returning to the United States,
Charles spent a year as assistant professor at MIT and two years in industry at Lockheed. In 1962, he came to Stanford as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, where he remained until retiring in As an engineer, Charles was an expert in gas and fluid dynamics. He was a serious scientist with over 200 publications, two textbooks, and expertise in fields from growing synthetic diamonds to spacecraft reentry. Charles sealed his academic reputation, however, as an administrator. He spent half of his Stanford career in senior administrative positions, including as dean of research from 1993 to 2003. After retirement, Charles was honored with the Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award for exceptional contributions to Stanford. Charles is survived by his wife of 40 years Nora; his children Beth Kruger Curran of A royo Grande, CA; Charles Kruger III of Irvine, CA; and Ellen Kruger of Philadelphia; and six grandchildren.
Robert Thurman Lewis died August 21, 2018. He was born November 27, 1934, in Oklahoma City, the first child of Alonzo “Arkie” Lewis and Vivian Conrady Lewis. After Classen, Robert went on to He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity and earned a business degree in Following college, he joined the Air Force and was honorably discharged as a captain in December 1961. After the Air Force, Robert became a police officer with the Oklahoma City Police Department, and ultimately went on to retire from Merrill Lynch after a successful 37-year career as a stockbroker. In 1980, Robert met his beloved wife of 37 years Nancy Elaine Lewis. They married in January 1981. Robert and Nancy were members of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ. Robert leaves behind his wife Nancy, his children Rob Lewis, David Lewis, Chris Lewis, Cindy Burleson Brown, Thomas Burleson, and Laura Burleson Maxwell and their families, all of Oklahoma City, and his precious 13 grandchildren. He also leaves his sister Carol Foster of Austin and her family, and many other family and friends. Kenneth Leon Matthews died June 20, 2018, in Lakewood, His wife of 66 years Glenda, daughters Diana Ross and Karen Keller, and two grandchildren survive him.
Larry L. Wails died June 19, 2018, at home in Mannford, surrounded by family. Born March 16, 1933, in OKC, Larry graduated from Central State College in 1969. His wife Donna, sons Stephen and David, six grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren survive him.
James Collin Biggers died January 4, 2018, of cancer. He was a naval officer, aeronautical engineer with NASA and the US Navy, professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Yavapai Community College , mentor , church member, coffee shop denizen, humorist, musician, neighbor and friend to many. Married in 1963 to Nancy Louise Snyder, together they raised three children. His wife of 54 years Nancy, sons Greg and Andy, and four grandchildren survive him.
Margaret Douglas Rucks “Peggy” McCune, of Enid, died July 31, 2018, at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville. She was born June 17, 1935, at Wesley hospi tal, which was cofounded by her grandfather, and grew up in OKC. Peggy attended Wilson and Harding, during which time she was an award-winning junior dog handler. After one year at Classen, she attended Gulf Park boarding school in Gulf Port, MI, graduating in 1953. Peggy was a Beaux Arts debutante, and attended OU, where she was active in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. As a young woman, Peggy worked for Stewart Wolf, M.D., at University hospital in OKC. There, she met Dr. Edward Allison “Ed” McCune, a chief surgical resident at University and Veterans hospitals. Peggy and Al married on January 29, They honeymooned in Dallas, and soon afterward moved to Roswell, NM, where Al became chief surgeon at the Walker AFB hospital. Following his military service and practice at the Oklahoma City Clinic, the family settled in Enid. Peggy ran a warm, welcoming, and busy household for her children, their friends, and many adored pets. She was a trusted advisor for people about their pets and was known as an early advocate for animal protection in the community. Peggy faithfully attended First Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon and sang in the choir for many years. At age 60, Peggy attended aviation ground school, learning to fly and even soloing in a small airplane. She is survived by her four children Margaret Allison McCune Davis, Enid; Joseph Rucks McCune, Chicago; Evelyn McCune Stival, Fayetteville; and Louisa Douglas McCune, OKC; and 12 grandchildren.
Gary Ray Ryan died August 28, 2018. Born July 26, 1934, in Wichita, he moved to OKC in the early 50s. Gary attended OSU and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. For many years, he joined in running the family business, Ryan Freight Lines, and remained in the transportation industry for most of his career. Later in life, he volunteered for Community Action Agency and for Victory Church. Gary is survived by his five children, all of OKC, two grandchildren, a brother, and many special nephews, nieces, inlaws, and friends.
Gerald Howard “Howdy” Young died September 11, Born in OKC to Ione and Gerald Martin Young on November 16, 1935, he attended Gatewood and Taft. After Classen, he attended OU, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. Following his graduation in 1958, he served in the Army, both on active duty and in the reserves. Howdy was the owner and president of Young Exploration Company, founded by his father. He was a member of the Oklahoma City Golf and Country club, the OU Touchdown club, the Sooner club, the Petroleum club and the Honkers hunting club. Howdy is survived by his sons Gerald “Jerry” Young II of Lafayette, LA and Howard K. Young of OKC; his daughters Jenna E. Young of Ft. Worth and Andrea A. Weiss of OKC; four grandchildren; his brother Martin G. “Hi” Young ’55 of Boulder, CO; and one nephew.
Larry F. Busch died September 17, 2018. He attended Taft. At Classen, Larry was a 3-year “Blue Jackets” pep club member. After Classen, he attended OSU for a few weeks, but dropped out and joined the U.S. Air Force. He operated a “Rapid Decompression Chamber” at a base in San Antonio, testing aircrews’ ability to withstand a sudden loss of aircraft ressure at high altitude. After his retirement from the Air Force as a master sergeant, NASA immediately hired him to do the same job in Houston. He tested most NASA astronauts during their space flight training, becoming friends with many of them, until he left NASA. Desiring to be near family, he moved to Dickinson, TX, (between Houston and Galveston) about six years ago. His wife died shortly after the move. Larry continued to live in the home until cancer claimed him. A daughter, Laurie, and her family in San Antonio survive Larry.
Robert David Flemming died August 14, 2018, in Shawnee, KS. He attended OU, then went to work with 3M. Survivors include his wife Barbara Irene Stephens, three children, nine grandchildren, and a sister Linda Flemming Wells ’55.
Dr. John David George Jr., LTC USA (Ret.) died August 21, 2018. John was born April 10, 1936 in Salem, OR, to John David and Lillian Dahl George. After Classen, John graduated from West Point in the Class of 1958, then served 22 years as an infantry officer including two tours in Vietnam. After achieving his PhD degree from the University of Alabama, he was assigned to teach in the Department of Leadership at the Academy. Upon retirement in 1979, John received the Legion of Merit, the Army’s third highest award for service. Following his military career, he returned to his beloved West Point to organize and direct a ministry to cadets and faculty. John was the first staff member of the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF) at the Academy, a privileged position he held for 11 years. His third career, of 26 years, was spent teaching and mentoring students in the School of Business at Liberty University, retiring with the title of professor emeritus. John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Judy Early George ’54; their son, Jeff George and his family; their daughter, Jennifer George Whitt and her family; a sister, Sharon Diebel; a sister-in-law; and numerous nieces, nephews and their children.
Donna K. Jones-Bickford-Davis-Prawdzienski died July 12, 2018, in Edmond surrounded by her loving family. Donna was born in Oklahoma City September 4, 1936. Her family then moved to Texas for several years before returning to OKC. Donna attended and graduated from Classen, then completed her education with OCU, graduating in 1957. She married Paul A. Bickford ’54 in 1957, and the union ended in 1969. Her second marriage was to Oliver H. “Dave” Davis, from 1971 to Donna spent the last 20 years living in Edmond with her husband Richard Prawdzienski, so she could be close to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Previously, they lived in Lowell, MA, Her robust life was filled with careers, the love of travel, and theater product ions . Donna was a gifted award-winning playwright, songwriter, and artist aka “D.K. Oklahoma.” Some of her beloved productions are A Light in the Mill, Saints of 17th Street, Old Flames and Deli Delight. She was a multifaceted artist who shared her appreciation and expression through acrylic paintings, stained glass and ceramics. Donna is survived by her husband Richard Prawdzienski; her daughters Rebecca E. Bickford-Davis and her family, Springdale, AR; Dianna C. Bickford-Best-Miller and her family, Edmond; Tamara S. Bickford-Lenox, Edmond; four grandchildren; two great - grandchildren; and one stepson.
John Denning Frizzell, Jr. died July 25, 2018, at home of natural causes. John (“Big John,” “John D,” “Johnny,” or Paw Paw,” as he was affectionately known to friends and family) was born to Mildred Virginia Armor and John D Frizzell, Sr. on March 4, 1939, in OKC where he grew up and lived his entire life. As with many of his generation, John’s childhood was complicated by a case of polio at age 7, but he was insistent that he would not be defined by it. After Classen, John went on to attend OCU, where he met his future wife, Colene Jenkins. John and Colene were married in 1959 and had two children, William Denning “Denny” Frizzell and De’Lene Elizabeth Frizzell Moore. John’s passions, interests, and curiosity led him to many personal and professional pursuits. One of the most unusual was the restoration of a Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach, and during its 100th Anniversary in 1958, he and his family engaged in a four-week journey to retrace the Overland Mail Express Trail, the first transcontinental mail service. Traveling with a four-horse hitch, often with the coach full of celebrities, they made 24 mail drops, starting in Tipton, MO, and culminating with driving the team down San Francisco’s famed Market Street. His wife, Colene, and his family survive John.
Michel Allan “Mike” Lynch died July 26, 2018, in Gainesville, Born in OKC to G.J. and Coree Lynch, he attended Millwood, Harding, and Classen, but graduated from Northwest Classen in 1957. In his youth, Mike placed in state and national science fairs. He took flight lessons at NWC and later became a licensed ilot. He was active in Civil Air Patrol, including a cadet exchange to Turkey. Mike graduated from OU with a BS in physics in 1961, and then worked as a research assistant at Texas Instruments. He received an MS in physics from OU in 1966. He taught at OCU before moving to Gainesville in 1968, to teach at the University of Florida and pursue a doctorate in radio astronomy. After completing his PhD in 1972, Mike continued teaching at UF. He consulted on projects pioneering the use of electronics in medical devices. While working at Biomega Corporation, his team developed a blood pressure and pulse monitor. He later taught computer microprocessor design in the ECE department and directed many senior projects until his retirement in Mike is survived by his wife Mary, son David, daughter-in-law Julie, and his sisters Anne and Kathleen.
Susan Newcomb Schene died August 14, 2018, at her Ardmore residence . The daughter of the late Thomas . Newcomb and Frankie Cowling Newcomb, Susan was born on December 15, 1939, in McAlester. An Ardmore resident since 1964, moving from OKC, Susan belonged to St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and to the Daughters of the American Revolution. Susan spent many hours at the Ardmore Children’s Shelter where she was a residential aide. An animal lover, Susan loved her dogs Sophia and Chloe but being with her granddaughters, whether it was shopping or having high noon tea with them. Her sons Michael McDaniel and Greg McDaniel, her twin sister Betsey Nash and husband Robert, three grandchildren, and two nieces survive Susan.
Sharon Lynn Hammonds Wilkey died January 6, 2018, in Sachse, TX. Her husband Foy survives her. No other information is available.
Ronnie R. Langham died in his home in OKC September 21, 2018, after a battle with esophageal cancer. No other information is available.
Galen L. Nichols died August 25, 2018. Galen was born September 30, 1946 to Earl E. and Mary Louise Loy Nichols. He served in the Air Force, graduated from OU with a BFA degree, worked as a freelance graphic designer, and later retired from the Oklahoma Publishing Company. His wife of 45 years Mary, his daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, his brother and sister, and their families survive him.
Dr. Richard Louis Long Jr. died peacefully at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital on August 16, 2018. Born June 5, 1947, in Kansas City, MO, to Richard Louis Long and Alta Marie Giddens Long, Richard spent his childhood in Missouri, Brazil, Maryland, California, and Oklahoma, developing a love for books and “all things science” along the way. He won a Fleming Scholarship for outstanding science students while attending Classen.
Following Classen, Richard attended Rice University in Houston, earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1969 and his PhD from Rice in 1973. Richard served in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1979. Richard’s teaching career began at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. He later moved to Las Cruces, NM, to teach at NMSU. While at NMSU, Richard developed the NMSU Laboratory Safety Guide which is still in use. He also served as a consultant with Los Alamos National Laboratory. In 2011, Richard retired from NMSU as professor emeritus following a stroke and other serious health issues. He returned to OKC at that time to be with family, and had resided at Concordia Life Care Community for the past seven years. When he was able, Richard enjoyed meeting with fellow residents, former students, and family at Wiley Post Airport’s Runway Cafe to discuss any number of topics and to learn about events in their lives. His daughter Christine Heather Long, his sisters Mari Sharon Long and Susan Higginbotham and their families, his stepsister Gerry Jackson and her family, two nephews, one great-nephew, and two cousins survive Richard.
Charles Edward Nally was born October 20, 1947, and died June 11, 2016. Charles was a resident of OKC. No other information is available. Martin Dafoe Pinkerton died April 13, 2017, in Tulsa. He was born May 27, 1947, to Herbert Pinkerton and Loyce Martin Pinkerton in OKC. Martin worked as a land man in the oil and gas industry. No other information is available.
Terry Lynn McCallie died August 22, 2018, in Keller, Born December 5, 1948, in Blythe, CA, he grew up in OKC where his grandparents lovingly raised him. At Classen, he enjoyed being the drum major in his senior year. At the age of 18 Terry was drafted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War. By sheer luck he was deployed to Germany instead of Vietnam, and he was honorably discharged after serving his time. Terry began selling cars at the age of A born salesman, he had great success in the car business for 40 years. He loved his job and always said he never considered it work. He is survived by his companion Sally Ward, by his son Jason McCallie , Jason’s wife Heather and their three children, by his former wife and good friend Vickie McCallie, and by many, many friends.
Shirley Ann King, of Noble, died June 13, 2018. Born May 31, 1954, in Bakersfield, CA, Shirley was an artist, a gardener with a green thumb, and an amazing cook. She was a barber and had been an instructor at barber school. Shirley had served as the cook for Noble Public Schools for seven years. She is survived by two children, Felicia Savage and husband Mike and James Meers and wife Megan, and five grandchildren.
Richard Denham Cramer died January 14, 2017, at Wilkes Regional Medical Center, North Wilkesboro, NC. Denham was born September 23, 1961, in OKC, to Patrick O’Donnell Cramer and Flora May Wright Cramer. No other information is available.
Don S. Luper died July 6, 2018, after an industrial accident near Arpelar, OK. An oilfield safety representative, he was attempting to lift a power line when he came into contact with it and was electrocuted. After graduating in Classen’s final senior class, Don earned a B.A. degree at OU. His survivors include daughters Aleyah Luper and Lashay Rhodes, his sisters Vickie Carlton, Julia Moore, Cheryl White, and Sandra Luper, and his brothers Chester Jackson. Martel Luper, Barry Luper, and Vincent Luper.
Obituary for Linda Lee Miller - Class of 1970
Linda Lee Miller, 64, passed away Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Linda was born May 20, 1952 in Tulsa, Okla. She grew up in Oklahoma City and graduated in 1970 from the "Old" Classen High School. Linda was a title examiner with Stewart Title for 19 years. She was a social butterfly who loved people and will always be remembered as the life of the party...any party...every party. Linda never met a stranger, and her vibrant personality endeared her to all those fortunate enough to cross her path. She would greet you with a smile, and leave you with a hug. She loved music, koala bears and the Oklahoma Sooners. She loved yellow roses, dancing and theta burgers, a frozen drink by the pool and the Dallas Cowboys. But her greatest joy was spending time with family, friends, and especially her grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Dorothy Sharp; and son, Brennon Shofner.
Survivors: Daughter Shannon Brown and husband, Brandon; grandchildren, Brydan and Logan; brother, Gary Peacock; Mindy Dickey; her beloved cat, Topaz; and more friends than one can imagine.
Lucas Funeral Home Keller Chapel (817)753-6800
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