Game of life: Rodman Frates was instrumental at North Side YMCA

Former Dartmouth golfer recently died at 75.
by Scott Munn Published: November 19, 2012

A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:

*Rodman Frates was a longtime athlete who ran 10 miles a day and competed in marathons and ultramarathons. He was a well-known golfer — and good enough that he played at Dartmouth College, where he medalist in the 1959 Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament. Frates also played in the NCAA Championships, the USGA National Amateur and the USGA Senior National Amateur.

He and Homer Hyde raised or donated money for the indoor running track at the North Side YMCA in Oklahoma City. He was part owner of the Santa Fe Tennis and Racquet Club, where he also competed in squash. Frates, president of C.L. Frates Insurance Co., died recently at age 75.

*American hero John Wallach had hundreds of adventure stories to tell, many about life and death. A World War II veteran who was a bombardier aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed Swoose, which is currently under restoration at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Wallach was involved in many air strikes against the Japanese Empire, totaling 69 missions and 800 combat hours. Wallach's life adventures started as a boy in Manchaug, Mass. He sandwiched baseball between school and two jobs. He sometimes skipped school with friends and hitchhiked 52 miles — one way — to Fenway Park to watch Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees play the Boston Red Sox. A decorated military man of 33 years and a golf enthusiast, Col. Wallach was an Oklahoma City resident when he died at age 93.

*Former Tulsa resident Ronald Canaday enjoyed golf after helping the Allies win World War II. He had three aces during a lifetime that ended two days after celebrating his 99th birthday.

*Lexington native Don Clift attended Murray State Junior College in Tishomingo, where he was campus Ping-Pong champion. Clift, who worked in animal agriculture in various Oklahoma and Texas ports, died at age 54.

*Merle McGuire Sr. was a world credit manager for Halliburton. He attended Oklahoma and UCLA, where he spent a brief time playing basketball for the relatively new Bruins' coach, John Wooden. McGuire, an Oklahoma City resident, died at 82.

*American hero Roy Dosser served his country during World War II with the Navy. He later worked in the oil business for Sinclair and Atlantic Richfield. At Garber High School, Dosser learned about ups, downs, hard work and how to persevere through adversity. Must have been pretty good at it — he captained the Wolverines' football team in 1936. The Oklahoma City resident died at age 93.

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