Dale got that degree and started coaching, in Wakita and Gotebo and then Pampa, Texas, where the boys attended fifth grade and Dale got to coach some football.
But the small-town bug had bitten them. Pampa, then population 22,000, was a little too large.
So Dale interviewed for a job in Hammon as shop teacher and assistant baseball and basketball coach. Megli, also a Southwestern grad, had heard of Dale Minor.
“I had heard the stories about the legend he was,” Megli said. “Didn't know how to take him at first.
“He was a linebacker there, aggressive, a headhunter. Just one of those guys, when he went, he went all out. Pretty much the way he did everything. On and off the field. And probably a little ornery.”
But Megli soon learned that Dale Minor was “good to the bone; anything he did was for the good of the kids. Of course, his two kids were kind of a bonus.”
The Meglis and others became lifelong friends, Hammon became home and the Minor story grew from there. “Best move we ever made,” Nancy said.
A year after the boys went to OU, Dale and Nancy moved to Edmond, to be closer to Norman. Dale coached soccer at Edmond North for awhile and taught until 2009, five years after he was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually killed him.
The old ornery linebacker was 150 pounds when he died. He fought the cancer for nine years, through four or five different chemos and a couple of radiations.
“He was tough, I tell you,” Nancy said.
When Nancy talked to the boys about the funeral service, they all agreed. Hammon was their home. So at 2 p.m. Saturday, in the Hammon High auditorium, Dale Minor's life will be celebrated.
“That's where we grew up,” Damon said. “Dad not only touched us, but a lot of people out there. He enjoyed Edmond, but Hammon was close to his heart as ever, as it is ours, because of all the memories and the people. They really touched his life and he touched theirs.”
So Hammon's favorite sons return home Saturday for the somber task of bidding farewell to the man who molded them. The man who raised them right.
“They turned out pretty good,” Nancy said. “Couldn't ask for two better kids to raise. They were no problem. No problems whatsoever. But they were always around good people. Especially out there at Hammon. Always with good people.”
Starting with mom and dad.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
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