A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience.
Tributes: Frank Parr was a local soccer icon
BY SCOTT MUNN, Assistant Sports Editor, email@example.com | Jan 20, 2014
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.
*Leonard Tunnell of Miami, OK, coached sports at Ketchum, Wyandotte, Locust Grove and Bluejacket schools. The six-time Bronze star recipient during World War II died at age 89.
*Henryetta resident Ken Wion was a text book consultant for D.C. Heath & Co. As a young man, he played football and basketball and ran track for Woodward High School. He then played college football at Southwestern State in Weatherford. After retirement, he spent time supporting Henryetta High athletic teams. He died at age 73.
*John Mahaffey, 14, of Cache participated in Special Olympics. He was a member of the Hammer Heads swim team.
*Clayton Smith, 18, played baseball for Morris High School. He received an athletic scholarship to Highland Community College in Kansas shortly before he died in an automobile crash.
*Oklahoma City physician James Wenzl acquired an interest in medicine while playing high school football in Greenleaf, Kan. Wenzl suffered a broken nose, a broken tibia, a dislocated shoulder and a broken foot over his junior and senior seasons. He told family members, “I spent so much time talking to doctors in those two years that I became intrigued by the work.” Wenzl, a former pediatric nephrologist at The Children's Hospital, was also a standout half-miler for the Greenleaf track team. He died at age 78 after a five-year fight with cancer.
*Oklahoma City resident John Meek, 84, played basketball at Westark Junior College in Fort Smith, Ark. ... Terry Myrks, 43, played boys basketball at Idabel High School. ... Clarence Cox, 96, coached youth baseball and softball in south Oklahoma City. ... Ruben Potter Jr., 76, was an All-State football player at Elk City High School. ... Walters native Keith Hooker, 71, was a farmer by trade, but he also raised race horses. Attended the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas every December. ... Brian Martin, 51, of Ardmore played high school football and baseball in his native California. ...
*Martha Scroggin, 77, of Midwest City played basketball for Buffalo Valley High School. ... Jeannie Hutton, 71, was a twirler on football Friday nights at Wynnewood High School. ... Herman Hackett, 80, of Enid sponsored softball and Little League baseball teams. ... Michael Wahl, 57, of Edmond was president of the Oklahoma City Men's Senior Baseball League. ... Dana Pitts Orebaugh, 64, of Edmond was a swimming instructor at the downtown YMCA. She was also a member of The Sportsman's Club swim team. ...
*Doris Stephens Puckett, 95, of Edmond played basketball at old Marshall High School in Logan County. ... Gladys Lunow, 93, of Oklahoma City was a four-year letter winner for the Moore High girls basketball team. ... Dolores Dial Renfrow, 81, of Duncan was a championship swimmer for the University of Central Oklahoma. She was also a twirler. ... Retired Army Ranger Mack Haymaker, 82, of Enid raced motorcycles in the late 1950s.
BY SCOTT MUNN