A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
Dave Bakenhaster, 69, of Galena, Ohio, played parts of the 1967 and 1970 baseball seasons with the Tulsa Oilers. The former right-handed pitching prospect was a combined 2-6 with a 4.19 earned run average and 50 strikeouts for the Oilers, then the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm team. Bakenhaster, who was listed on a 1964 Topps baseball card as a future star, pitched just three total innings for the Cards, all at age 19. The rest of Bakenhaster’s career was spent in the minors. He spent 35 years working for Exel Logistics after baseball.
Keith Wright, 51, played tennis at Lawton Eisenhower High School. He qualified for the state tournament in doubles as a senior.
Bill Bebout, 69, was a retired attorney who lived in Phoenix. The Oklahoma native played golf at Tulsa Hale High School, the University of Tulsa and in the Navy.
Taylor Witcher, 20, of Norman died from injuries suffered in an car wreck. She was on a state- and national-championship cheerleading squad at Tulsa Union High School. Witcher also coached youth cheer squads. The OU student was working on a public relations degree with hopes of working for a major athletic corporation. Witcher continued to watch high school football and followed the New York Yankees. She was the daughter of Joey Witcher, who starred in football at Midwest City High School and earned two letters at Oklahoma State.
Richard Hall, 76, of Bixby was an avid golfer. In retirement, he was the starter at the Indian Springs Golf Club.
Dorothy Sacra Bell, 92, was a state champion in doubles tennis for Chickasha High School.
Bill Thomson played for the Tulsa Oilers’ hockey team in 1947. The forward had 34 points in 56 games for the Oilers, then a member of the U.S. Hockey League.
Ray Cyrus, 73, of Anadarko owned a tile company and refurbished Pizza Hut restaurants after he played football for Murray State Junior College.
Jessie Bewley Coit, 91, was a championship golfer who twice had a hole-in-one. The Quail Creek Country Club member won several tournaments. She and late husband Don founded the famous Coit’s Drive-In in Oklahoma City.
Diana Dougherty Fulton, 48, of Pryor was a professional horse trainer. A member of the American Quarter Horse Association and the Oklahoma Horse Racing Association. She also raised and showed longhorn cattle.
George Yarbrough, 79, of Oklahoma City was a former club and restaurant owner. He also was a sports analyst in Las Vegas.
Ashlyn Smith, 14, of Moore was a softball player and swimmer.
Lola Drake Sparks, 93, of Oklahoma City was an avid bowler. She competed in the Order of Forresters league and served as its secretary.
Cooper West, 97, of Elk City earned economics and education degrees at Northwestern State in Alva. He played football and basketball and ran track for the Rangers while working as a lifeguard and a baker to cover costs a scholarship didn’t provide. The World War II veteran worked in insurance and real estate.
Taylor Wright, 23, of Enid played football at Fairview High School. He was also a power-lifter who finished third in his weight class. A master welder who made industrial mining equipment.
Clint Smith, 60, of Adair played football and was a record-setting track athlete while in junior high and high school in Arkansas.
Buck Coyne, 68, was a former attorney in Ada. While in high school in South Carolina, he played football and ran track. Also ran track at Davidson College in North Carolina.
Bobby Ryan, 82, was a Korean War veteran. He taught business education and coached the tennis team at Skiatook High School.
Steven Cross, 60, of Oklahoma City taught physics and chemistry at Okemah High School. Also coached the Panthers’ softball team.
Brent Maker, 44, was a champion weight-lifter. An All-State linebacker from Hominy High School.
Paul Barrett, 67, of Bromide was the father of former Oklahoma softball slugger Ashli Barrett, who helped the Sooners win the 2000 Women’s College World Series.
Auston Ingram, 83, of Norman spent 27 years in the Army. Before becoming a paratrooper, he spent the 1949-52 seasons playing football for coach Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma. Ingram lettered for the ’52 season, when the Sooners finished 8-1-1 and as Big 7 champions. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound end graduated from Lawton High School.
George Verville, 93, of Tulsa was an avid golfer who spent retirement managing twice-a-week senior scramble tournaments at the Mohawk and Sapulpa courses.
John Alexander, 80, was a Tulsa businessman who lettered in football and track at Wichita State. He was also invited to pre-Olympic Trials as a decathlete in 1956 and 1960.
Martin Allen, 73, of Chickasha played baseball and basketball at Anadarko High School.
Jack Bain, 75, established the Idabel Rodeo Association and also served as president of the Idabel Warriors Booster Club.