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Tributes: Frank Parr was a local soccer icon

A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience.
by Scott Munn Published: January 20, 2014
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A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience:

*Frank Parr, 92, of Oklahoma City was employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Away from work, he was heavily involved in local soccer. Parr spent 30 years as a member of the Oklahoma Soccer Association as a player, coach, referee or administrator. He served eight years as the Central Oklahoma Soccer League president. Parr was just one of three people given the Oklahoma Soccer Officials' Golden Whistle Award.

*Ed Sheldon, 84, of Bartlesville served in the Army during the Korean War. While stationed in Augsburg, Germany, he played basketball. Sheldon later became recognized for handmade turkey calls. The outdoorsman made the devices out of three turkey hen wingbones — and they became so popular with fellow hunters that a turkey calling competition was named in Sheldon's honor.

*Mark Champion of Tulsa was an auto racing enthusiast. He provided color commentary over the public address system at now-defunct Tulsa Speedway, while also contributing articles to the Speedway News. Champion did not mind handling the dangerous side of racing, too. He often patrolled Turn 1 at the Tulsa track, working as a fireman and paramedic. Champion died recently at age 65.

*Former Weatherford chief of police Byron Cox, 57, volunteered at Kiwanis Baseball Park. He also umpired high school and summer league baseball. Cox suffered from diabetes the last few years and lost both legs. He had been fitted with prosthetics and continued to work for the police department; Cox hoped to someday return to umpiring.

*Oklahoma City resident Dave Roberts, 67, was a standout athlete in the 1960s at Dewey High School. He turned down several baseball scholarship offers, instead choosing to play football at Oklahoma. Roberts played for the Sooners' freshmen team, and then gave up sports to focus on studies that led to a juris doctorate from the OU law school.

*Rodney Moody, 55, of Edmond was a standout athlete at Altus High School. He particularly excelled at golf, earning a scholarship to Cameron University in Lawton. Moody worked in the grocery business for several years, before returning to school, this time at Southwestern State in Weatherford. He played golf for the Bulldogs. Moody participated in the 85th U.S. Open qualifier at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. He also played in the 84th U.S. Amateur qualifier in Oklahoma City.

*Paul Mathews, 86, of Ninnekah was a self-made millionaire. He was a politician and realtor in Seminole County, owning several pieces of land during his lifetime. Mathews operated the Little League in the 1960s in Seminole, and he helped build a ballpark behind the town's armory. He also assisted in the development of a baseball field in Wewoka.

*Jack Mars, 78, moved to Tulsa to work for B.F. Goodrich. As a youngster in Akron, Ohio, Mars was quite the athlete. He stood 6-foot-7 and starred in football, basketball, baseball and boxing. Perhaps before a growth spurt, Mars participated in the legendary Soap Box Derby in Akron.

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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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