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Tributes: Former Tulsa Oilers right-hander, Lawton Eisenhower tennis player die

by Scott Munn Published: August 4, 2014

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.

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by Scott Munn
Sports Assistant Editor
Scott Munn joined The Oklahoman/Oklahoma City Times sports staffs in October 1982. He spent a year as a formcharter, three years on the desk and 16 as a reporter. Scott has spent the last nine years as an evening assistant sports editor. Scott's...
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