Family and friends are mourning the death of a doctor with deep Oklahoma roots who was shot and killed Sunday near Kansas City, Kan.
William Lewis Corporon, 69, practiced medicine from 1976 to 2003 in Oklahoma, according to a family statement. Corporon earned his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma. He was known as the family physician in Cowboy boots and suspenders who always put his loved ones and patients ahead of himself.
“He wasn’t just a doctor; he was a really, really good friend,” said Lynn Holt, of Bray. He and his family were patients of Corporon’s for many years.
“He cared, he’d take time to answer your questions and he was real sympathetic,” said Holt, 60. “To him, you weren’t a number or a patient, you were a friend. ... After my momma died, he invited me for Christmas dinner. I went, and they treated me like family.”
Corporon and his grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, 14, were two of the three killed in shootings Sunday at a Jewish community center and a retirement complex in Overland Park, Kan.
Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, has been arrested, police said.
Corporon graduated from OU’s medical program in 1972 and was a lifelong supporter of Sooner athletics, family members said. He practiced medicine in Marlow and Duncan before moving to the Kansas City area to be closer to family.
At a prayer vigil Sunday night that was recorded and posted on YouTube, Corporon’s daughter, Mindy Losen, spoke briefly about the tragedy.
“We all grieve in different ways, and I just wanted to tell people thank you,” Mindy Losen, who is also an OU graduate, said in the video.
“I want you to know that I came upon the scene very, very quickly. I was there before the police, and I was there before the ambulance, and I knew immediately that they were in heaven. And I know that they are in heaven together.
“I got to tell both of them today that I love them. I was the last person in the family who saw them.”
Rovena Branum, 64, went to church with William Corporon several years ago at Cumberland Presbyterian in Marlow. Branum, of Bray, remembered Corporon not just for his voice in the choir, but also for his down-home sense of style.
“The first thing we remembered about him coming to Marlow was that he wore his boots to doctor in, and that was kind of a different thing,” Branum said. “He always had on his cowboy boots. And he wore his suspenders. He was a great guy, very family-oriented and loved the community.”
Demetra Cox, 43, has been a family physician in Duncan for about 15 years. She worked with Corporon from 1999 to 2003. Cox said Corporon helped countless people in the area as an emergency room and family practice physician. Outside work, he was remembered as an avid volunteer with Duncan Little Theater, a nonprofit performance center.
“Everyone here, like everywhere, is just sickened by it,” Cox said. “He was a great guy, very community oriented. ... Nobody has anything negative to say about him.”
OU President David Boren offered his condolences to the Corporon family.
“Violence of the kind that took place in Kansas City, which appears to be based upon religious prejudice, has no place in America,” Boren said in a release. “We are saddened to learn that the son of one of our graduates, as well as her father, also an OU alumnus, lost their lives in the incident. Our thoughts are with the family.”