A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
*American hero Bert Cole, 92, played football at Altus Junior College — now known as Western Oklahoma State — from 1938-40. He transferred to Oklahoma A&M — now Oklahoma State — where he intended to play football. But he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps to defend his country during World War II and became a B-24 pilot in the European theater. Cole's plane was shot down over Yugoslavia; he survived the crash but was listed as missing action for six months. After the Allied victory, he returned to Oklahoma A&M and played offensive and defensive tackle in 1945 and 1946, helping the Aggies win the Sugar Bowl in '46. After earning bachelor and master's degrees in agronomy, he farmed and worked for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. The father of six donated more than 200 pints of blood during his lifetime for those in need.
*Retired educator Jack Mulkey died at age 95 in Edmond. Before joining the Army, Mulkey was a star football player at Fresno State University. The wide receiver and defensive back was the first two-time All-American (1939, 1940) in Fresno State history. He helped the Bulldogs to a 25-6-0 record over the 1938-40 seasons, including a Pineapple Bowl victory over Hawaii in 1940. Mulkey was also the first Fresno State player drafted; he was chosen in the 15th round in 1941 by the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the school's athletics Hall of Fame in 1975.
*Former Tulsa Oilers public address announcer Fred Campbell died recently at age 74. Campbell was the P.A. man for the original Oilers in the 1960s and took the microphone when the Central Hockey League returned in the 1990s. “Fred was a great friend, and he meant a great deal to our team,” Oilers president Jeff Lund said on the team website. “He was so loyal to our organization, and I know how much our fans loved listening to him.”
*Former Putnam City football player Billy Cook died at age 36. The Oklahoma City native earned an athletic scholarship to the University of Central Oklahoma, where he lettered over the 1995-97 seasons. He was a two-year starter on the Bronchos' offensive line. Worked for the Xerox Corporation at the time of death.
*Kenny Adkison succumbed to brain cancer 3½ years after he was diagnosed. He was 41. Adkison played football and golf at Putnam City West High School; he earned a football scholarship to Northwestern Oklahoma State and started four seasons at defensive back for the Rangers. The first-team Academic All-American was a Dallas resident at the time of death.