A tribute to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed sports in life.
*Few knew Jason Miller as a heart patient. Family, friends and opponents knew the Putnam City High School and University of Central Oklahoma graduate as an excellent golfer. Miller earned a degree in professional golf management while playing for UCO from 1999-2003. He was a member of the PGA and won several club championships while living in Houston. Off the course, Miller was a survivor of four open heart surgeries — twice in the first week of his life, again before age 3 and once more at age 26. Miller died June 13 at age 31 while awaiting surgery for a valve replacement.
“Few people knew of his pain and struggles,” Miller's uncle, James Miller of Hope Mills, N.C., said in a letter to The Oklahoman. “He was not one to use his physical restrictions as an excuse. Those who played against him did not know his physical limits. They only saw his competitive spirit and sportsmanship. His efforts make me want to do more with what I have been given.”
*Kenneth Northcutt was an offensive lineman for the Oklahoma Sooners during their record 47-game win streak. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native wore No. 62 for the Sooners, lettering in 1954, 1955 and 1957. Northcutt missed all but one game in '56, sustaining a leg injury in the season opener, a 36-0 rout over North Carolina in Norman. Northcutt was a Bethany resident when he died June 13 at age 77.
*Oklahoma City resident Orville Munson was a multisport athlete at Wessington Springs (S.D.) High School. He played one season of freshman football for the University of Idaho, although he attended school on a basketball scholarship. He never played basketball for the Vandals; instead, he joined the Army in February 1941 and played football stateside for the 41st infantry team. After the U.S. entered World War II in December 1941, he earned several medals with 1108th Engineer Combat Group in Europe. Moved to Oklahoma after the war with wife Imogene, a Tahlequah native. Orville Munson died June 14 at age 93.