Tributes: Former OU basketball player John Breathwit dies at age 58

BY SCOTT MUNN, Assistant Sports Editor, smunn@opubco.com Published: July 25, 2012
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A tribute to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed sports in life.

*Oklahoma City attorney John Breathwit was a basketball star at Lawton High School, helping the Wolverines to the 1972 Class 4A state tournament. The guard was named to the tournament's All-Star team after scoring 70 points in three games. Breathwit's two free throws helped Lawton unseat defending state champion Tulsa Central in overtime during the semifinals. He lettered twice at Oklahoma, transferred to LSU and earned letters for the 1975 and 1977 seasons for the Tigers. Despite his successes as a player, a family obituary said Breathwit considered the year he volunteered to coach an inner-city youth basketball team one of his greatest accomplishments. He died this month at age 58.

*World War II veteran Fillmore Vaughan died at age 91. Before serving in the Army Air Corps, he lettered in rifle at Ardmore High School. After the war, Vaughan's trade was golf. He opened the Sunset Course in Ardmore in 1947; became PGA head pro at Dornick Hills in 1955; and in 1970 opened a nine-hole course in Ardmore he called Golden Green, which is now an 18-hole facility and known as Lake View.

*Jay Dee Chase, 82, an Oklahoma football season ticket holder for more than 50 years.

*C. Wayne Litchfield, a 50-year member of the Oklahoma Bar Association who once captained the Wynnewood High School football team. Earned an athletic scholarship to Southern Methodist University but remained a die-hard OU football fan until his death at age 78.

*Betty Burns focused on her hobby, playing tennis, after selling a ceramic tile business. She was active in the South Oklahoma City Tennis Association and often played at the Walnut Creek Country Club. In January 1983, when Walnut Creek opened three new indoor courts, Burns was one of a dozen people chosen to play on the first day. She also coordinated tournaments at the club. Burns died July 2, one month after celebrating her 76th birthday.

*Lavonne Hutchison, 79, an Oklahoma City resident who coached athletes for the Special Olympics.


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