Q&A with Elizabeth Milam

Oklahoman Published: August 11, 2006
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Today's Q&A is with Dean A. McGee's executive assistant for 44 years.

What was it like working for Dean A. McGee?

He's the nicest gentleman there ever was. Everybody in our company respected him. Not only did they respect him, they liked him. He was a great man.

Mr. McGee had a great mind. He could read a report, and he knew everything in it. He could digest everything he read.

What was your strongest impression of McGee?

He wanted to do something with his life that would help a lot of people. He wanted to make high-paying jobs for a lot of people. That was why he went ahead and went to the business world. That's why he established the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute. He wanted to start something that would leave a mark someday, that will help a lot of people.

Mr. McGee was a very gentle, very kind person. He couldn't fire anybody. He tried to find another position where they could succeed.

What do you think he would have thought about today's sale?

He wouldn't have ever let it happen. He and Bob Kerr would never have let it move from Oklahoma. I think they're turning over in their graves right now.

Why did you decide not to go to Thursday's shareholders' meeting?

My first impulse was to go. But my vote wouldn't have made any difference.

Tell me your fondest memory of working for the company and working for Dean McGee?

Mr. McGee always thought about his employees. When they had terrible storms in the Gulf, he always wanted to make sure his employees got off safely and got in to land. We never lost any lives down there. We lost some equipment, but he was always thinking about the people. He liked making jobs for the people.

One time we had a strike at the refinery in Wynnewood.

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