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Virginia Gaylord Neely, last surviving child of The Oklahoman's pioneer publisher, dies

Virginia Gaylord Neely, the last surviving child of The Oklahoman's pioneer publisher, E.K. Gaylord, died Saturday at her home in Cashiers, N.C. She was 92.
by Randy Ellis Published: October 30, 2012
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Virginia Gaylord Neely, the last surviving child of The Oklahoman's pioneer publisher, E.K. Gaylord, died Saturday at her home in Cashiers, N.C. She was 92.

Neely was the widow of Oklahoma City insurance executive and civic leader Ralph Neely, who died in 2006.

She also was preceded in death by her brother, Edward L. Gaylord, former publisher of The Oklahoman, who died in 2003; and her sister, Edith Kinney Gaylord, a nationally known journalist and philanthropist, who died in 2001.

Neely graduated from Walnut Hill School in Massachusetts and Vassar College in New York.

She had five children and devoted much of her married life to caring for her children and supporting her husband in his business and civic work, said Paul Neely, her oldest son.

Friends also will remember her for her deep interest in art and design and her sharp sense of humor, he said.

“Her home was always filled with interesting things — not so much traditional oil paintings, but more things that reflected design,” he said. “She had a substantial collection of African art, and at one time in the 1970s, they actually owned a gallery of African art in Oklahoma City.”

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by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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